Anyone who watched the pre-season should have known and been aware of what was coming down the pike when Malone announced his starting line up. After watching the preseason the line up he announced made little to no sense. If anyone with eyes were choosing the starting line up based on the strength of play in the preseason your opening day starting line up would look like this.
DMC, JT (gulp, the PF position has been playing bad!), Outlaw, Jimmer, and IT.
I am not a Jimmer fan by any stretch of the imagination, but his numbers and production when he played earned him that spot. So why did Malone select two of the worst performing players on the team and give them starting spots and lot's of minutes? (you could make the case three if you throw in Vasquez who played poorly in pre-season too). Furthermore, why did he take one of the best performing players and sit him for no minutes? If it was to play the prized rookie that would be one thing. But it wasn't. He played Thorton and Salmons?
Many have speculated that it may have been for management to show them (Salmons and Thorton) off to trade them. If that really was the reason, messing with the games and line ups really didn't pay off. In fact it really hurt. It hurt the team and I think it hurts Malone credibility. And the way Thorton and Salmons played did not increase their trade stock. In fact it hurt it quite a bit I'd wager.
Malone is great at coming out and saying things that we as fans like to hear. If only his actions were as solid as his words. He speaks much like a politician. He speaks as though he has no association with the failures that are plaguing the team but he does. In fact he is very much in charge of this team. Why are they not playing for him? They may have sucked last season, but this early last year I felt the team played hard. Smart was not questioning desire or effort. The fact we are questioning those things this early is frightening.
Worse yet Malone is adjusting his line up, just like Westphal and Smart. I HATE THIS!!!! Yes Malone picked a weird starting five from the get go, but the juggling just pisses me off. This guy had an entire off-season to learn who his players are. Why is he still guessing? I am pulling my hair out watching this mess. Perhaps his Dad quit because he saw this coming. Maybe the front office is messing around too much in the coach's business. Whatever it is it needs to stop. Heck if Malone really loved the Vasquez, Thorton, Salmons, Patterson, DMC starting five then stick with it. He changed the starting line up again for the third game in a row. I hate this pattern. It makes it seem that the coach has no idea what he is doing (and perhaps he doesn't).
It is alarming that everything the coach and players were preaching during last off-season is just not there. No Defense, no unity, no effort. And although DMC looks better I am not seeing development of players which this coach said he wants to be judged by this season. In fact I'd say the majority of the players are worse than last season, by a VERY LARGE margin.
So how about this new Kings regime. Peg who you actually want on this team and trade or bench the rest. I would rather watch a team of D-leaguers play their hearts out and lose then watch Salmons and Thorton go through the motions. Just start your future and let them take their lumps. Trade whatever pieces you do not want for future assets (draft picks) and the untradable assets send down to the d-league or have this sit the bench (heck Kenny Thomas sat FOREVER until his contract ran out).
If I was Malone, based on what I have seen, this is who I start and who I trade and who I sit.
PG : IT
SG : McLemore
SF : Outlaw
PF : JT (Landry when he returns)
C : DMC
Mccallum, Mbah A Moute, Hayes
Jimmer, Vasquez, and Patterson. Get picks for these young assests
Bench Thorton and Salmons for good because they have no trade value.
Fill the roster with D-league type players that will play hard when they are on the court (heck isn't this what the Lakers are doing?). Salmons will be off the books next season (except for 1 million of buy-out) and Thorton becomes an expiring that you might be able to flip. The three young guys to trade did not get extended and most likely are not part of the long-term future.
Lose with "your" guys Malone. Don't play guys to show off for trade, that is how you lose a team quickly. This season can still be turned around, not in terms of wins or losses, but how the team comes together and plays as a whole. Watching this team play at the moment is just not fun. They look worse, not better than last season. At least let the fans see a hard playing team, it is not too much to ask for, right?