We're 8 games into the season, and it's already been a rather bumpy ride. It's too early for any hard and fast conclusions, but it's not too early for some general observations.
DOOM AND GLOOM
- The Kings have won just 3 games, including losing 4 of their last 5
- Perimeter defense has been a disaster
- Rebounding has been an issue for everyone, and the Kings rank 26th in defensive rebounding percentage
- The defense that was supposed to be a hallmark of the Kings has fallen off
- Willie Cauley-Stein has looked downright bad
- The Kings have played a lot of games in a very short period of time, playing 8 games before any other team in the NBA
- Those 8 games have included 6 road games, with a 5 game road trip
- The Kings have already played three back to backs
- The Kings have been without Darren Collison, and have platooned the point guard position with Ty Lawson, Garrett Temple, and Jordan Farmar
- All of this has happened as the Kings learn a new system under a new coach with a largely new roster
So the season has been bumpy. The Kings should have beat the Orlando Magic, and were a disastrous fourth quarter away from beating the Miami Heat. But the Kings also stole wins from a very good Toronto Raptors team, and mounted an inspired comeback against the Minnesota Timberwolves. At the start of the year we thought the Kings could be 2-6 right now, or worse. After starting 2-1, we thought the Kings would be 4-4 right now, at worst. So things haven’t gone to plan, but things haven’t gone to hell.
The East coast road trip took some wind out of our sails, but overall I’m actually OK with how the team is playing. We’ve got a long way to go, and I’m sure we’ll have some ups and downs along the way. Take a look around the league, and it’s easy to see plenty of teams who have had worse starts. I’d feel a lot worse if the Kings had rolled over in Toronto, but they showed some pride and bounced back from an embarrassing game in Milwaukee. I’m not sure last season’s squad would have done that.
For now, for 8 games in, with all that’s been stacked against the team to start the year, I’ll take that small victory.