A Vision of Role-Definition is What is Hurting the Kings

Even though the Adelman/Carrill era and Princeton-styled offense seems to have passed, I am not sure what has replaced it. Theus at least had a name for his corner-dribble-pass triangle high post initiation thing. Westphal had his iconoclastic 4-flat and Smart seems to believe in rebounding and the Don Nelson school of run at all costs, seeming to avoid any kind of half-court set.

Smart seems to be set on what he said when he first got the job:

Coach Smart: They (the Kings) are young, they have scorers and they can play a fast pace game, but then they have players that are big. With the Warriors, we never had big guys that rebound. Here, we have speed and a pace that can be played and big guys that can rebound and eventually become good defenders. So that’s where the two kind of separate themselves until now, where the Warriors are starting to get bigger players.

This team is a unique team because they have guys who are really, really good rebounders that can crash the glass and they have a guy who will eventually develop into being a good low post guy. That’s why it’s exciting. They have to develop the chemistry now. Young players all want to showcase themselves to the NBA and to the fans.

After seeing the chaos of the 4-flat era, Smart now seems to lean on Isaiah to initiate. Returning to the traditional facilitator type point guard led team. But then Petrie Dish keeps experimenting and stockpiling undersized combo guards like the T-Wolves gather small forwards. Under Smart there there is better ball movement but too many missed open shots. Your best shooters all hover at 6'0" or under so you can't have more than one of the floor. All except IT struggle with facilitating.

Enter Jimmer and his mounting busthood debate. At the draft, he was at the time an obvious upgrade over years of Chapu, Garcia, Donte, Omri, and Luther Head missing open looks. The best shooter in the draft. A "point" guard in college much the same way that Tyreke was, as by far the best player, he led his team by being ball-dominant and kicking out once he was double or triple teamed. But at 6'2" is going to be undersized at every position but point and struggles on defense. Arguably, your most reliable guard/shooter, MT23, is exactly the same thing but more polished overall finisher in the paint. You decide to fix the problem by adding 5'10" Aaron Brooks thereby insuring Jimmer will not get opportunity to develop.

From outward appearances, Jimmer seems like a guy who is trying hard to do what he is being told and has a reputation for being a hard-worker. Watching the SL, Jimmer seems to have worked on lateral movement and craftier defense, drawing more contact to get to the line and splitting double teams as he was instructed by Coach Smart when he met with him in the offseason. He needs work on handling pressure, not jump passing, and hitting off of screens and catch and shoot situations. In the process of trying to push his development, a la Spencer Hawes, the Kings have destroyed his confidence. The best evidence are his recent struggles with shooting.

Jimmer has decent athleticism and a history of being a great shooter. It wasn't like he was playing Division III at BYU; he put up 49 against Arizona at times finishing in the lane against #1 pick Derrick Williams and 32 against Kenny Boynton and Chandler Parsons of Florida. Being from San Diego, I remember when he rang up 39 and 40 on SDSU when they were ranked top 5 and Steve Fisher in desperation switched this site's favorite defender, Kawhi Leonard on Jimmer for stretches failing to cool down Jimmer to no avail. Yet he is treated like the white boy novelty show. Other teams respect him more than his own team, often crowding him as soon as he gets the ball. Jimmer has lost his swagger and maybe it was self-induced.

As much as I loved him as a player, I don't have much evidence of Bobby Jackson's (himself a scoring minded, undersized ball dominant Kings "point" guard) effectiveness as a coach (didn't the SL team get better when he wasn't there?) If he was the point guard tutor for Tyreke and Jimmer, he seems 0-for-2. Smart was a god-send in the beginning improving ball-movement and defense but seemed to falter toward the Nellie-style game that sent him packing in Golden State toward the end. The Kings need to decide if they are going to be Monta/Curry fun and gun Warriors II, an adaptation of the 2002 high post passing Webber/Vlade Kings, or hopefully, in my opinion, something else. In the meantime, everyone on the roster will be underutilized until they get a blueprint of what they are suppose to be.

I am not sure they are that far off. Watching the playoffs, it was clear that athleticism and being able to penetrate and get to the foul line are model of what works in watching the Heat and Thunder. Demarcus is one of the most athletic and polished big men in the league already and will hopefully only get better (although it seems like a shot-blocking counterpart on defense would help erase the continual problem with guard penetration but was not added.) Tyreke, as has been chronicled, has a rare almost Lebron-like size with exceptional handle that can get him to the rim at will if defenders had any respect for his J. IT can definitely push the pace and the rest of the Kings are young and athletic. It seems as if the Kings have a bunch of 2s(shooting guards-Reke, MT23, Jimmer) and 4s(power forwards - DMC, T.Rob., JT) and below NBA average everywhere else. What is missing is every other position, the defensive dimension and hopefully that starts with James Johnson (boy, that is hard to even write.)

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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