If you haven't read Bill Simmons' 3-part back-and-forth with Malcom Gladwell, do yourself a favor and read it. Regardless of your opinion of Simmons (I know not everyone cares for him or his style, and be warned that he talks some trash about Sacto in part 3, big shocker). Read it for Gladwell, the guy is a great writer with unique perspectives.
In Part 2 of their back-and-forth, they discuss the full court press as an NBA defense. Without taking the article word-for-word, they break down Pitino's early results with it in Boston, and how there seems to be a stubborn reluctance to try it again. Some key elements for success are discussed, mostly that you need players willing to work harder than most. They suggest that younger players without fat contracts would be more willing to work harder. The other key is that it is most beneficial for teams that aren't that good. In order words, there's a lot more upside for a team like the 2008-09 Kings to try it against the 2008-09 Lakers than there is for the 2002 Kings to try it against the 2002 Lakers.
Which brings me to my question: Why not us?
This team, by design or not, would be perfect for a full-court press. Hawes isn't the quickest center out there, but he's certainly not the slowest (is he?). But imagine JT, Garcia, (a healthy) Martin and
Beno Bobby Jackson running a full court press? Hell, you could go small and play JT at the 5 and bring in Donté at the 4.
The full-court press is no quick fix. You'd have to practice it relentlessly. It might wear out the guys too much, limiting their off-the-ball movement on offense. And I'm not suggesting that it be run the entire game. Run it with that select line-up only, and only at certain points in each game.
Now before I bring up this next point, let me throw in a few disclaimers. I trust Petrie's judgement, and I believe this team needs an established coach to get us back on track. That being said, one of Petrie's stated criteria for the next coach is that they have some level of NBA success. The main problem with NBA coaches is that they aren't willing to try something radical. If it backfires, it can not only cost the coach his current job, but future opportunities as well. But I do trust that Petrie will try to hire someone willing to take some risks. After all, isn't coming to this franchise right now a risk in itself?
So is it too much to ask a coach to take a chance on this defense during our rebuilding process? Why wouldn't this work for the Kings?