It’s fair to say that the Sacramento Kings got off to a disappointing start to the season. Many Kings fans were frustrated with the team’s play, rotations, player development, and more. And many of us were pointing fingers at Dave Joerger. But as the team has rallied from the Rudy Gay injury to play (for the most part) good basketball, I can’t help but wonder if we rushed to judgement.
First, let’s acknowledge the negatives. The Kings are not a good defensive team, currently ranked 27th in Defensive Rating, per NBA.com/stats. Matt Barnes is still playing heavy minutes, despite being bad at playing basketball at an NBA level. And the Kings are still falling apart and blowing big leads on a fairly regular basis. These are all fair critiques of Coach Joerger.
But there have been some positive notes as well. Malachi Richardson has started playing more regular minutes, despite Memphis Grizzlies fans insisting to us that rookies would never play. Willie Cauley-Stein is having a resurgence after a slow start. And despite blowing some big leads, the Kings have also strung together several really good stretches of team basketball.
As I think about it, I can’t help but wonder if we as Kings fans have grown too impatient. After all, we’re accustomed to coaches having about 1.2 seasons to prove themselves, so it feels like Joerger is about halfway through his tenure. Sacramento isn’t a place where we see coaches develop a team long term.
But that should be different this time around. Joerger has a 4-year contract. He’s getting along with DeMarcus Cousins. Current management is the same management team that hired Joerger. All indications are that Joerger will remain the Kings coach for a while.
What do you say? Have we been too quick to judge?