It has been a long and bumpy season for the Sacramento Kings, and I think everyone is glad that the offseason is now in session for the purple and white. Although team activity has been reduced since the end of the season, it has not stopped the “Royal Pain” team from continuing to talk about the Kings.
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This week, we will be grading the performances of each player on the Kings based on their positions. Today’s players/position that will be discussed are the Kings shooting guards in Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas.
Ben McLemore (B): After another season under his belt, McLemore has shown that an offseason of work, plus experience, can do wonders. In his rookie year, McLemore only averaged 8.8 points a contest, while shooting well under 40% from the court. However, as his second season has come to a close, McLemore has looked more comfortable on the court as his stats epitomize his growth.
This season, McLemore finished the year averaging 12 points a contest, while shooting well over 40% from the floor, and around 35% from the three-point mark. Not only have the stats shown his improvements as a player, but just by using the eye-test, McLemore has looked more acclimated adjusting to the speed, power, and instincts of the NBA.
Although McLemore has made strides as his NBA career progresses, there are still holes to his game that need to be addressed. Inconsistent shooting and defense, plus his inability to handle the ball, are the main attributes that have restricted McLemore from being a reliable asset for the Kings going forward.
Overall, McLemore did a solid job fulfilling his role for the Kings this season. He displayed more flashes of his true potential compared to his rookie year, but still continues to show a stable rate of inconsistency as well.
Nik Stauskas (D-): Nik Stauskas aka “Sauce Castillo” was the opposite of hot when it came to his production on the court. At the end of his rookie campaign, Nik finished with a statline of just 4.4 points a game while shooting 37% from the floor and 32% from three. Stauskas fell victim to what most twenty year old players experience when first entering the pros, which looking lost on the court and in most cases being more of a liability to the team than an asset.
However, the silver lining to Stauskas season was that he looked more comfortable in the end. Whether it was George Karl being the coach for the Kings or just gaining more experience, there was a tiny rate of improvement that fans are hoping Stauskas will increase when next season comes.
Overall, it looks like Stauskas will have a busy offseason on his hands, or least he should, considering that he needs to improve on every aspect of his game. Despite all his struggles, it is important to consider that Stauskas was restricted of playing time that would have helped him improve, due to the fact that the Kings have another project at shooting guard that plays ahead in McLemore.
Therefore, I can’t completely flunk Nik for this season.