I don’t care what you saw on TV, the sky is not falling. (The arena is a different story)
This is my first attempt at a fanpost so please be gentle.
I have been a King’s fan as long as I can remember (which isn’t saying a lot) and I have to say that I am apparently way more encouraged than many of you on this board. First off, I will agree that the offense leaves a whole lot to be desired but I will get to that in a minute.
This year’s Kings defense, (small sample size institute approved) is by a long shot the best defense I have ever seen a Kings team play. The rotations have been really solid and even the individual defense has been great (see Tyreke and JJ) or even surprisingly better (see Thornton and pretty much the rest of the team). I cannot guarantee that stats back up the individual thing but my eyes see what they see.
The effort on the defensive end is outstanding for the most part. There have been a few lapses but as a whole, it is so much better that I can’t really even compare it to last year’s model. I never thought I would ever utter the following words but our defense has actually kept us in games that we could have easily been blown out. I have to give mega kudos to coach Smart for that kind of turn around. Getting our team to buy into that kind of defense deserves credit. Time will of course tell if they continue that effort.
We do have one glaring deficiency on defense and I believe it is why we are 1-3 instead of 3-1. Our defensive rebounding sucks Maloof. Our defensive rebounding (or lack thereof) is one of the reasons our offense looks like a big steaming pile of Maloof. Until we can work out a half-court offense, we have to be able to rebound and run every chance we get. Defensive rebounds lead to fast break points and would probably lead to 6-8 more points per game if not more. Last night when we took over the game, it was off of forcing turnovers and one shot possessions on the part of Golden State followed by defensive rebounds. Someone has to teach our guys to box out. They play 23 seconds of tough defense only to give up an offensive rebound. Now granted, we outrebounded the Warriors but the point still stands.
ChandlerJ gives kudos and he taketh them away.
While I give credit for a much improved defense, the offense gives me indigestion. As much as I have enjoyed watching the Lakers baffling attempt at trying to stuff Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into a Princeton offense shaped hole, why the hell are we trying to cram IT and DMC into a triangle shaped one? I realize that we are only supposedly using elements of the triangle offense but let me answer that again by saying, “what the hell?”
While it seems that maybe our second unit might be able to have success with elements of the triangle by utilizing Chuck Hayes at the top of the key, the triangle (and for that matter the Princeton) makes little sense with our starting 5. It seems to me that since we obviously spent all of training camp on D (with awesome results), it was way too ambitious to also assume our players could adapt to a totally different offense without time to work it out. I don’t believe it fits us anyway, but it is way more complex than we are capable of right now. Why couldn't we just start simple with IT running the offense and, I don't know, some pick and rolls here and there? IT has solid PG skills and it seems counter-intuitive to simply make him a spot up shooter at the 3 point line.
One other quick note is DMC. Who told him he had to be the best center right now? He is forcing everything (last night looked much, much better). He just needs to let the game come to him. Two games in a row without foul trouble give me great hope and I actually saw him pass the ball last night. I am not worried about him and I think he will settle in on this home stand.
All and all, I am really pleased. Would I like to be 4-0 and talking about a game seven against the Heat that is bound to come next June (barring that we don’t sweep them), of course I would. But talking about great Kings defense is totally uncharted territory and I love the adventure. The Kings will improve and we will soon forget that the first “new coach” post came three games into the season.
Kings players, just put a body on someone, please. That is all.