Defense, Ball Movement Big Problems in Kings Home Loss to Bulls


Let’s face it: The Chicago Bulls are a really good team. While the Kings certainly had moments of poor basketball on both ends, you’ve got to keep it in perspective. Sacramento fought back after falling in multiple holes, but the Bulls shut the door on every attempt, as the Kings fell 108-98 in front of a second-straight sellout crowd.

ONE ON ONE OVERLOAD — Never got the sense that Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton (8-17 FG, 4-6 3FG, 20 PTS, 5 REB) were on the same page tonight. It was one man gets it, one man shoots it for most of the night, and the embarrassingly low stat of 13 Kings assists reflects that. A lot of standing around and dribbling by the Kings guards. There is really no remedy for this, other than gaining cohesion as a team. Until then, the Kings will have many more nights like this, and their success will hinge on making long shots.

DEFENSIVE MELTDOWNS — Pick any type of defense – transition, one on one, pick and roll, rotations – and the Kings failed miserably against the Bulls. The easy reason for the breakdown is the incredible skill of Derrick Rose, and he definitely had his spectacular moments. But it was a team-wide problem. The Bulls found easy, open shots whenever they needed, while the Kings fought tooth and nail for their baskets. Part of it is effort and, again, part of it is shortened practice time with a young squad.

THE IQ OF DMC — Deep down, DeMarcus Cousins is a bright kid. Very immature, but he understands so much defensively about positioning. He knows how refs call charges and he reads the attacking players perfectly. The offensive end is where DMC still has a ways to go. Cousins (4-16 FG, 7-8 FT, 15 PTS, 12 REB, 2 BLK) frequently forces the ball into a crowd of bodies, hoping for a call. But it’s just desperation. When Cousins develops some go-to post moves to go with his above average midrange game, he can start trusting his skills rather than relying on calls. And then we’ll have a beast on our hands.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS — Tyreke seemed lost out there tonight; just a bad overall game, although the stats (7-14 FG, 19 PTS, 3 STL) are not bad. Got caught in the air multiple times on offense and 5-for-12 from the free throw line is terrible … Jimmer is pretty bad defensively. And that’s putting it as nicely as possible. You gotta figure he can develop there, but right now, he just doesn’t seem to have a clue as a defender … Wonder when Cisco makes his first appearance. Love the guy, but hard to justify giving him minutes. He could supplant Travis Outlaw (2-11 FG on the season) in the rotation down the road.