Flaws in Sacramento Kings Bench


Oct 5, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Sacramento Kings guard

Ramon Sessions

(9) dribbles against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at Rogers Arena. The Toronto Raptors won 99-94. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

With the Sacramento Kings winning two of their first three games against contenders like the Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Clippers, there’s cause for celebration. But also, there are causes for concern. The most notable concern? Flaws in the Kings’ bench production.

Where most teams have a flame-scoring threat jumping off their bench after eight minutes or so of play, the Sacramento Kings have… well, subs.
While the Kings have been getting monstrous performances from DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, they’ve been getting lackadaisical, painful to watch performances from their bench, and it all starts with Ramon Sessions.

Sessions was brought in to create offense when key players like Darren Collison, Gay and Cousins took breaks on the bench, but the offense has staggered when Sessions has come on to the court and he’s had a +/- of -22 in 29 minutes in his three games combined this season. So that means that, with Sessions playing roughly 10-minutes-per-game, the Kings have been outscored by about seven points while Sessions is on the court each game.

Another issue the Kings bench has been having is a lack of scoring. Namely, Nik Stauskas. He’s only played three real games, but I’m seeing an issue in him that a lot of shooters have in the NBA: not being able to get his own shot. He’s been played tightly, and he’s having difficulty getting space. Where, I’m glad he’s not forcing shots and hoisting up threes, I also feel he’s of little value to the team if he can’t step up and net a couple outside shots.

This issue, lies on the KIngs finding a way to get him open. With bigs like Carl Landry and Reggie Evans tasked with the job of setting high picks to free Stauskas, they have to do a better job. A bright spot on the Kings bench, however, has been Sacramento returner Omri Casspi. In his second stint with the team, he’s looked very good, following his good preseason play up with solid regular season performances.

All-in-all, the Kings have looked like a solid team (if you’re one to judge on only three games), playing much better defense than the Kings of the past, but with the next seven games all against western conference playoff contenders, and teams featuring 6th men of Nate RobinsonManu Ginobili, Devin Harris and Isaiah Thomas caliber, the Kings bench is going to need players to step up, not only on defense, but on the offensive side as well.