Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News wrote probably the best explanation of the Kings woes I've seen this season. It's an absolute must-read. Some of it deals with trade rumors, but the best stuff is about what is wrong right now. An excerpt:
"Our strength has always been passing and shooting," Kings assistant coach Elston Turner said before his team lost to the Spurs on Saturday. "We've always had at least four long-range shooters to stretch the defense and open it up for cuts to allow us to play the way we play.
"If you look at other teams' scouting reports now, I'm assuming Peja (Stojakovic) and Mike (Bibby) would be the only guys the scouts say you really need to guard."
We checked with many scouts, and Turner is right, although one mentioned Brad Miller still has to be guarded around the top of the key.
Emphasis mine. This is the biggest issue for me with Rick Adelman - he's completely not able to adapt. At all. Not in game situations, not when a season is in danger of disappearing into the toilet.
Obviously, the offensive options are not the same as they were in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. Part of it is the absence of Webb, but a lot of it has to do with Doug Christie and Vlade, as well.
That's not to say there aren't good to great offensive options on this team. Bibby is still one of the best shooting point guards in the L - he needs one pick to get off a clean shot (and often not even that). Peja can still hit shots if he gets a bit of separation, and was a few months ago the best shooter in the world. Shareef has post moves other fours dream of. No center shoots like Brad from 18, and few can pass like him. Bonzi is a constant mismatch on offense - and he's almost never being guarded by the best opposing defender.
So what's the problem? The system. The parts don't fit. You can't stick a square block in a round hole, no matter how hard you try. This system worked when you had four guys on the floor who could consistently hit from the perimeter. Now you have three, and one of them couldn't hit four straight shots if he was alone on the court right now.
Remember Adelman's quote from early November - about how he knows every offensive system ever tried and how he knows this one works? It's not working. When is it time to pull the plug on it? How much longer can you throw the guys out there and cross your fingers before the season is lost?
Even if the parts change and Peja gets moved for Artest or Deng or Voshon Lenard or whoever - does that change make the system work? No! The 2002 version of Chris Webber ain't walking through that door! It's probably completely impossible to recreate the glory days of this offense without a time machine.
Adelman and his system need to go.