The last time that Kings played in the NBA Playoffs was 9 seasons ago. With Mike Bibby, Brad Miller and Ron Artest they lost NBA Western Conference First Round (2-4) versus San Antonio Spurs.
Just to notice this one - on January 25, 2006, Stojaković was traded to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for forward Ron Artest, ending his eight-year tenure with the Kings. And he was the 3rd best scorer in the roster that season with 16.5 pts per game.
After that, they didn't have any season more than 38 wins. DeMarcus Cousins is a superstar and nobody wants to deny that, but he didn't play in the NBA Playoffs in his career.
How can Sacramento Kings beat the Wild Western Conference and play in the NBA Playoffs this season? Is that too difficult for the famous team from the California?
They have DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo. Who else must come in Sactown to conquer 9 years of the playoffs dreams?
The Kings' Dream: NBA Playoffs 2016
DeMarcus Cousins is a leader of the new Sacramento Kings and this is his best season so far. Rajon Rondo knows how to assists and he is one of the best point guards in the NBA in that segment.
In the last season, they had only 20.3 assists per game and this season they are in the Top 5 with 24.8 assists per game. Golden State, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics are in this group. So, if we are looking at that way, the Kings finally have right path after a long time.
If you look at points per game, Sacramento Kings have the 3rd best offense in the NBA. Only Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma Thunder have a better offense. Sacramento Kings have + 5.2 points per game this season more than last season. After that info, you know what Rajon Rondo brings this roster. Assists and points. And they finally play like a team.
But, is this enough in the Western Conference? They have 15 wins and they are two wins behind Utah Jazz and four wins behind Houston Rockets with James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Someone will say, Sacramento needs time to build a better roster. But, do you think that fans have a patience for that? They are so many years without playoffs game and they know that competition in the Western Conference is so strong and maybe 45 wins can't guarantee the NBA Playoffs 2016.
What can they improve?
I will list them. And they will know how to improve that because every NBA team have a bunch of analyst and statistics around them, but why they don't know how to improve their team?
- They have the worst defense in the league. They allow 108.6 points per game. That is so much for a serious team. Offense is good, but what about defense, SacTown?
- They allow opponent starters to score 72.8 points against them, and they are the worst team in the league in that category. And if we think just a second about that, starters are playing most time against starters, so what about the starters defense we can see after this information? They are not playing defense.
- DeMarcus Cousins allows his opponents 19.4 points per game. He must be a better team player, if he wants to win - it's not just about offense and 25/10 stats.
- Against the Kings, opponents have 24 assists per game. Is that real? Only Houston is behind them with 24.6 assists. Just in the paint, they allow 6.5 assists per game. And that is way too much.
- They should bring better shooting guard than B. McLemore in the starting lineup. The Kings backcourt scoring only 38 points per game. I know that Rondo is there, but shooting guards are simply not good enough because they need a better all-around player there.
- They finally let Cousins play center, but Rudy Gay is not a good combination with DMC because he will attack the basket, DMC will attack the basket, but who will rebound there?
- If we are talking about the roster, they should trade for a defensive power forward who will bring rebounds, blocks, wellness and energy on the court like K. Faried.
- They have only 4 blocks per game and that is what I'm talking about. They simply don't have defensive effort and that is the field of the improvement.
The problem is that Kings should improve their roster before All-Star break. And what if they trade DeMarcus Cousins? They will probably start again from the zero point. If their fans wait 9 years, they will wait for another 5 years.
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Sacramento Kings: 10 Years Without the NBA Playoffs?
They will have opportunities because Utah Jazz is not better than Sacramento, but they must find better players in the rotation and they should trade for SG and PF this season.
Houston Rockets are far better than Kings, so we can expect a better form from James Harden and Dwight Howard. The only chance for Sacramento Kings is the 8th place this season.
I already mention Utah Jazz, but they will also have competitions like Portland Trail Blazers with Damian Lillard, Denver Nuggets and maybe New Orleans Pelicans.
We'll see what Vlade Divac can do with trades. If he can improve them and if they improve a defense, they will be in the NBA Playoffs 2016.