Team Name: Sacramento Kings
Last Year’s Record: 25-57
Key Losses: Spencer Hawes, Andres Nocioni, Ime Udoka, Dominic McGuire, Kayte Christensen.
Key Additions: DeMarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert, Hassan Whiteside, Pooh Jeter, Jim Gray, Bill Walton.
1. In haiku, list the significant moves that were made during the off-season?
Cousins, what a gift!,
Should not have been there at five.
Ah! Thanks be to Kahn.
Hawes, our time has come
to end this anguishing trip
Never forget us.
we have been waiting so long
for a shotblocker.
Hark! The angels sing!
Yet another shotblocker?
Swat away, Hassan!
Chapu, I will miss
you not for your game, but for
your lunatic fans.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths? The Kings' biggest strength this season should be the glass, given the massive frontcourt upgrades. Carl Landry remains an issue on the boards, but Dalembert (a top-5 rebounder) and Cousins should more than make up for it, Jason Thompson does well in the area, and Hassan Whiteside shouldn't be too shabby. Omri Casspi and Tyreke Evans are also strong rebounders at their positions.
>And oh, hey, Tyreke. He's a strength. He averaged (as you might have heard) 20/5/5 last season, and he just turned 21 years old. He is on the fast track to the All-Star Game. His isolation offense is already wonderful, and he has been working on his jumper all summer. GOOSEBUMPS.
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses? The Kings don't execute well consistently. If it's not Tyreke barrelling to the rim or Beno Udrih running a pick-and-roll, the offense gets stagnant and boring. And sometime Tyreke's barrelling plays into the defense's hands, or Beno's picks-and-rolls look like snuff films. The outside shooting on the team is shallow, with Francisco Garcia, Casspi and Greene able but inconsistent, Udrih solid and Evans invisible. Perimeter defense remains a real problem, so much so that the team brought in Antoine Wright to help. Interior defense has been an issue in the past, owing to Hawes' inconsistent effort and Thompson's propensity to foul. Dalembert should be an upgrade, but Cousins will be green back there.
4. What are the goals for this team? The management has been talking about challenging for a playoff spot, which I take to mean staying in the conversation through the All-Star Break. We'll see if that's accurate; most fans would settle for 35 wins (a 10-win improvement), though a great start thanks to a light schedule could set the team up for a disappointing finish.
5. If the Kings were President of the United States, what Presidents of the United States would the Kings be? Tyreke Evans would be James Madison, who had way more swagger than Thomas Jefferson. I mean, T.J. didn't even fight the British during his presidency!
Beno Udrih would be Nixon; he proved last season that he is not, in fact, a crook. DeMarcus Cousins is straight up Andrew Jackson. In fact, beginning now, DMC will be known as Old Hickory. Francisco Garcia is Teddy Roosevelt for obvious reasons: cowboy image and robust masculinity, as Wikipedia says. Donté Greene, the Kings' great uniter, is Abe Lincoln. Omri Casspi, a pioneer, is Obama. Samuel Dalembert is William Jennings Bryan. (We were robbed! -- Festus Ziller, Nov. 4, 1896) Hassan Whiteside is Woodrow Wilson, and is bringing it all back. Jason Thompson is Chester Arthur, who entered the White House distrusted but left a champion. Carl Landry is William Howard Taft, who did not, unfortunately, wear a top hat but had a MEAN mustache. I'm going to apologize to Pooh Jeter and Antoine Wright and skip right on by to Paul Westphal, who is pretty clearly U.S. Grant.
Slamson is George Washington, batches, and that's all.