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The Yetisburg Address: 2016-17 Week One

Our weekly review of all things Kings is back, new and improved!

Welcome to the first edition of the Yetisburg Address, the spiritual successor to my Good, the Bad and the Ugly series. For those of you who don’t know what the GBU series was, it’s how I got my start on Sactown Royalty, recapping the week that was for both the Kings and the site. Due to the high amount of stress and work involved with doing the series each week, I was forced to put it down back in 2014, but with the promise that perhaps it would come back in some iteration.

While it’s taken a lot longer to figure something out than some of you might have hoped, this new series should hopefully fill the hole in your hearts that the GBU left. While it won’t be the same as the old series, it will definitely take elements from it and also might look a little different each week as I won’t be the only one contributing. My fellow contributors will each have their own section to talk about something if they so choose, but not every one of them might choose or have something to talk about each week.

As for me, I’ll be focusing on “The High Post” and “The Low Post” sections, a more simplified version of the GBU scheme in which I’ll focus on one or maybe two things in particular that I feel are noteworthy, both good and bad, rather than trying to break down every single little thing that happened in the week. We already do that on the site anyway!

So stay tuned each Friday (unless there’s a game in which case it will be the next non-game day) and I hope you guys enjoy this new series. Feedback is much appreciated, and let me know what other things you all might want to see each week.

The High Post

Like many Kings fans, I’m hoping that the team that we saw for the first three games of the season is more in line with what we’ll see going forward than the last three games. Those first three games gave me and many others a renewed sense of hope after a summer of gloom and doom. Here were the Kings playing defense, sharing the ball, and not backing down when other teams made their runs. It seemed Coach Dave Joerger’s principles had already begun to take root. That moment when Joerger benched the entire starting five after a rough start in the first quarter against the Timberwolves was an amazing example of him backing up his words with action as well.

The schedule has been rough for the Kings so far, especially with the lack of rest and practice in between games, so I’m hopeful that those first few games of the season were more indicative of where this team is going than the last three. It was Joerger himself that said it would take at least a year and a half to fully get everyone on board and compatible with the system, and there are going to be growing pains on the way. I’m looking forward to seeing how Joerger gets this team to bounce back after three disappointing losses in a row.

The Low Post

What is up with the Sacramento Kings’ rebounding this season? The Kings haven’t been a bad rebounding team in a while so I guess I kind of forgot how frustrating it is when your team can’t control the boards, but on this road trip especially the Kings have been letting other teams dominate them on the glass. The Kings have yet to outrebound an opponent this season, and they’re giving up second chance points at an alarming rate. Orlando outscored the Kings 23-13 in second chance points in a game that was decided by 8 points. Atlanta outscored the Kings 17-7 in second chance points. For a team as big as the Kings, rebounding needs to be a strength. Right now the Kings are being lazy with boxing out, with grabbing the ball with two hands and with going after the ball. There have been too many occasions already where the Kings get a stop only to slowly go after the rebound and lose it either out of bounds or to an opposing player.

The most disappointing player in this regard has been Willie Cauley-Stein. While Willie wasn’t exactly a rebounding machine last season, he’s averaging 0.8 rebounds in almost 15 minutes a game compared to 5.3 in 21.4 last season. What changed? His DRB% of 3.1% is bad for a Point Guard, let alone a 7’0 center. I really hope this becomes a focus for Willie as the season goes on, because if he can’t contribute on such a fundamental skill for his position, he isn’t going to play.

The View from Section 214

A couple of weeks into the season and I have some Cousins concerns:

1. Yet another season begins with Cousins not having representable help around him. The last time that he had almost reasonable upper-end talent around him was when both Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay were on the roster, and even that was a little sub-standard at that point in time (Thomas has since “grown” as a player, and Gay was playing perhaps the best basketball of his career). The Kings seem to specialize in playing Cuz-on-five basketball, and that is not the fault of Cousins. The current Kings roster is still full of players being asked to ascend to roles that they have not previously played (or are no longer capable of playing), and Cousins and coach Joerger are left to sweep up after the elephants.

2. Perhaps the lack of talent is contributing to his frustration, but three technical fouls through five games is amazing, and not in a good way. And bitch and moan about the officiating all you want, but a guy can’t pick up six fouls in a quarter without being a contributor to the cause (or should I say “Cuz”) – Cousins’ foul rate is first among players logging at least 30 minutes a night. Compare his 5.4 fouls per 36 minutes to Marcin Gortat or Karl-Anthony Towns (3.2 each) or Marc Gasol (1.7). The result is that the team that cannot afford to be without DeMarcus Cousins on the floor winds up with DeMarcus Cousins being off the floor. The extra 2-3 minutes that Cousins should be playing every night will haunt the Kings throughout the season, as it did in Miami.

The hope was that with new coaching would (finally!) bring a new and mature attitude from DeMarcus Cousins. Not seeing it yet. Geez, and I thought that whole Matt-Barnes-as-the-Boogie-whisperer was can’t miss!

Nice arena, though.

Giraffe Analysis: Battle of the Shooting Guards

The Kings are struggling to get production out of their starting lineup outside of Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. Arron Afflalo (8.3), Ty Lawson (7.5), and Kosta Koufos (4.3) are all averaging less than 10 points per game on the season. Darren Collison’s suspension, poor play from the bench, and Matt Barnes’ ribs have limited Dave Joerger’s options. Ty Lawson is our only option at point guard and with Willie’s lack of rebounding and Barnes’ injury, the only real option is to shake things up at shooting guard.

Ben McLemore has performed admirably in the second unit through six games while Afflalo has struggled to establish an offensive identity.

*Per Game:



It’s early in the season, but the numbers tell us that Ben McLemore is simply outperforming Arron Afflalo in almost every offensive aspect of the game. The Kings clearly need a scoring jolt in the starting lineup, and as much as it shocks me to say it, that just might be The Pizza Guy.

*All statistics gathered from

Kimani’s Photo of the Week

Player of the Week

Rudy Gay

22.5 Points, .505 FG%, .467 3P%, 5.3 RPG, 2.3 AST, 1.2 STL, 1.0 BLK in 34.0 MPG

DeMarcus Cousins put up gaudier numbers but I want to give a special shout out here to Rudy Gay. After a summer of speculation that Rudy wouldn’t even be here this year, and the implication that he all but asked to be traded, Rudy has come in and worked his butt off for this team on both ends of the court. Rudy’s been scoring at his most efficient rate ever, posting a True Shooting % of .595. His defense also has been far better than usual, and the team has felt his absence on that end of the court when he’s off it. Per’s stat site, the Kings defensive rating drops from 98.3 (only Kosta Koufos 95.7 is better on the team) to an absolutely awful 123 points per 100 possessions. The only qualm I’ve had with Rudy Gay this year was his shot selection at the end of the game against the Miami Heat, as a better quality shot might have won it. But aside from that, Rudy’s been the Kings best and most consistent player on both ends of the court and should be commended for it.

Highlight of the Week

Upcoming Schedule

(all times Pacific)

Nov. 5th at Milwaukee Bucks, 5 p.m.

Nov. 6th at Toronto Raptors, 3 p.m.

Nov. 8th vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 10th vs. L.A. Lakers, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 11th @ Portland Trailblazers, 7:00 p.m.