Welcome to ‘Morning Conversation’, a semi-regular, not-so-original thingamajig that I’m going to try and put together every non-gameday weekday morning, time and life permitting. There are aspects of the Sacramento Kings worth discussing that rarely get discussed, but may not warrant a full-blown post. As a Kings fan living outside of Sacramento, I’m pretty isolated. Nobody in Boston wants to hear about my fleeting Kings thoughts, but maybe you do?
I was pretty down on the Ty Lawson signing when the Kings announced that move towards the end of free agency. For one, I thought his career as an NBA player was over, and secondly, I didn’t think the Kings could afford to add another ‘bad apple’ to an already questionable locker room.
In this instance, I’m happy to say I was wrong on both fronts. So far, anyway.
Yeah, he missed a team flight earlier in the season, and while that situation was oddly swept under the rug, I think it’d be very disingenuous of me to claim he’s been a real distraction for the Kings this season. Based on what we know, he’s been fine in that regard.
On the court, he’s been quite good. This may not be the most fair time to ask the question should he replace Darren Collison in the starting lineup? Because Lawson had his best game in probably three years last night against the Pistons, but this is something we’ve sort of been talking about for a month now. Lawson has seemingly outplayed Collison recently, and while some of that is Collison playing below the level we’ve come to expect out of him this season, Lawson is earning it. I don’t want to take that away from him.
In 2017, or in other words, 9 January games, Lawson is averaging 12.9 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game while shooting .481 from the field, and and .214 from three.
In that same timeframe, Darren Collison is averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 29 minutes per game while shooting .528 from the field, and .469 from three.
The statistics don’t necessary match the eye test here. These number don’t tell the whole story, of course, but it’s not as if Lawson is outplaying Collison by a wide margin, even if it feels that way at times. It’s close.
Should Ty Lawson replace Darren Collison in the starting lineup?
I think I would make that switch. I’m not taking a hard stand here, but Lawson is bringing a certain toughness and energy to recent Kings games that I’m just not seeing from Collison right now.
I know that sounds like some hokey eye-test nonsense, and I can’t support that claim with numbers, but I think it’s worth finding out what this version of Ty Lawson can do with the starting unit. When you look at some of the players Lawson is dragging along with him on the Kings’ undermanned bench unit, it makes his excellent January look even more impressive. Not to knock players like Malachi Richardson, or Willie Cauley-Stein, especially because they’ve been playing well recently, but that bench unit with the young kids, and Lawson, and Barnes, and whoever else is in there, should not be extending leads, or competing with opposing bench units like they have recently. It shouldn’t work, but Lawson is making it work.
And that could be an argument for keeping Lawson exactly where he is. The bench unit needs a leader, and Lawson has been exactly that. As if it wasn’t clear already, I’m torn on this. You could make an argument for either player in either role.
What would you do?
A bit of housekeeping -
For the last two editions of ‘Morning Conversation’ I gave everyone an opportunity to re-name this series because I felt, and still do feel, to an extent, that ‘Morning Conversation’ was a boring title and that we, together, could figure out a better name for this thing. Everyone delivered exactly what I thought I was looking for. The name suggestions were great. I laughed a lot. In fact, I didn’t really want to end the ‘contest’ because I enjoyed reading them so much.
With that being said, furious.d made a comment on the current ‘Morning Conversation’ title that has inspired me to keep the old title, for now.
“I like morning conversation. It serves as a reminder to keep things civil and on-topic” - furious.d
That was the spirit I was trying to invoke when I started this thing. That isn’t to say the comments need to stay on-topic, or civil, or whatever. That isn’t my call, but I wanted this to serve as a place for basketball discussion primarily, and while my favorite suggested names were based on snark, or puns making fun of how incompetent the Kings have been for so long, I don’t necessarily want snark to be part of the opener. It sets a bad precedent for good discussion, I think. Potentially, anyway.
I hope that makes some sense, and also, sorry for wasting the time of everyone who did suggest new names. I appreciate it. In the meantime, I’m going to get in touch with furious.d on that Chipotle gift card. Thanks again, yall.