Sacramento Kings need to get back on track tonight in Miami


I’m starting to get a little discouraged, if I’m being totally honest. Whatever temporary emotional lift the Sacramento Kings got after George Karl was hired appears to have worn off, and now we’re just left with … whatever this is.

The Kings are now 3-5 under Karl, but more importantly, they’ve lost four out of their last five games by an average of 10.75 points. The sole win in that stretch came against the New York Knicks, and that barely counts.

And the numbers are secondary to how to team has actually played. They are arguing with each other, the body language is poor; the selfishness is back, and the defense is nonexistent.

The Magic defeated the Kings 119-114 last night, but it felt like the Kings lost by 30. They couldn’t stop Orlando for three quarters, but they are talented enough to play terrible for 75% of the game, and still make it close at the end. That is part of the frustration here. They have talent on that roster, but it just isn’t working.

You also have to begin to wonder how important Darren Collison was to this team. Ray McCallum has played well in his absence, but as much as I love Ray, he lacks certain point guard instincts. He isn’t selfish, and that trait alone can mask some playmaking shortcomings, but I’m just not sure he’s a point guard. He was a scoring guard in college. He can get to the rim and finish in traffic. His outside shot is still a work in progress, but it’s not bad, and I love his defense, but he still needs to show me something as a playmaker. 3.8 assists in 27 minutes per game as a starter this season isn’t going to cut it.

I don’t want to criticize the team without (again) mentioning the fact that the Kings are in the middle of a really tough road trip. I’m sure the team is beat, but these are professional athletes on a professional basketball team. Despite how tired they might be, I think it’s reasonable to expect better performances then the ones they’ve been turning out.

The Kings are in Miami tonight on the second night of a back-to-back to play the Heat. This game is a complete toss up.

Chris Bosh has already been ruled out for the remainder of the season with blood clots in his lungs. Scary stuff.

And half of the rest of Miami’s roster is listed as questionable tonight. Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, and Mario Chalmers may or may not play. I guess we’ll find out closer to tipoff.

The availability of those players will obviously have a drastic impact on the Kings ability to pull out a road win tonight. The Heat will look a lot like the Knicks without those guys, and we already saw what the Kings can do to the Knicks.

Hassan Whiteside is still a real thing. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are.

In their last meeting, Cousins had Whiteside in some serious foul trouble. He only played about 15 minutes in that game. I’d expect similar results for our old friend.

We’ll see what happens tonight. On paper, this game looks very winnable, but you could have said the same thing about last nights game in Orlando, and the team barely showed up.

Sacramento Kings at Miami Heat

Where: American Airlines Arena – Miami, FL

When: 4:30 PM Pacific, 7:30 PM Eastern

Broadcast: Comcast Sportsnet California

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

More from A Royal Pain