Sacramento Kings: Struggels Continue with DeMarcus Cousins out


DeMarcus Cousins absence has created a huge problem for the Sacramento Kings. Not only has Ryan Hollins been forced into the starting rotation, which hurts the offensive end of the floor, but the lack of a closer and go to guy has become apparent. Combine that with a drop in production from the foul line and you’ll begin to understand the 2-6 record in the last eight games.

Rudy Gay is a great second option and compliments Cousins nicely. Problems seem to arise when Cousins is out however. Gay thrives when he is not handling the ball, rather coming off of screens or using minimal dribbles to find his shot. However since the departure of Cousins, Gay has become the focal point of the offense and handles the ball far too much, especially in late game scenarios.

The game against the Houston Rockets saw this come to fruition. With the game on the line, late in the 4th quarter, the Kings had a three-point lead inside of a minute. Rather than create ball movement and find a good look, Gay spent a majority of the shot clock dribbling, something Coach Michael Malone stated he was trying to move away from.

Gay then settled for a three-point look from the top of the key. The shot was not close. After James Harden hit the game tying three, the Kings had one final possession to avoid overtime, predictably Gay had the ball in his hand, dribbling out a majority of the remaining 20 seconds. He settled for a long two this time, which also missed. The Kings ended up faltering in overtime and lost by 4.

Understandably with Cousins out, the opposing defense is not focusing their attention on the dominant big man. Defenses are able to show more on Gay, Darren Collison and Ben McLemore. If defenses continue to double, ball movement is even more critical.

Live Feed

Is taking a step back in 2023-24 inevitable for the Sacramento Kings?
Is taking a step back in 2023-24 inevitable for the Sacramento Kings? /

Sir Charles In Charge

  • 1 advantage the Warriors have over each Pacific Division teamFanSided
  • NBA rumors: Erik Spoelstra is a trojan horse, surprise suitor for JaVale McGee, Ben Simmons still loves PhillyFanSided
  • NBA Free Agency: Pacific rival shows interest in Golden State Warriors' championBlue Man Hoop
  • Secret weapons to keep an eye on in the preseason for Lakers, Warriors, KingsFanSided
  • NBA legend picks Sacramento Kings over Golden State Warriors...againBlue Man Hoop
  • They must continue to attack the hoop in order to create better looks for everyone on the floor. Continuing to attack will also help the Kings get to the free throw line. They have to make their free throws once they’re at the line.

    A huge part of the Kings hot start was their ability to make their free throws. December has seen the free throw percentage drop almost 10 percentage points. The Kings missing 3 more free throws on average per game has hurt the Kings and could have sealed a victory against Houston and the Lakers.

    With Cousins likely out until January, if not longer, things must get better or the Kings hope of fighting for a playoff spot will disappear.