The Sacramento Kings & The Blame Game, An Early Conversation for Later Options


The Sacramento Kings dropping 6 out of their first 7 games isn’t exactly the way a new & revamped roster brings optimism to a city that hasn’t had a playoff birth in a decade. The talent is there, offseason additions Kosta Koufos and Marco Belinelli have been sparks off the bench and as a part of the starting rotation. Rajon Rondo had a triple double against the Warriors the other night against their highly touted, championship backcourt. Hell, even Seth Curry joined in on the fun and drained a three followed by a layup on back to back possessions against the Houston Rockets in a six point loss.

Nov 6, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Seth Curry (30) celebrates after a basket against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Houston Rockets defeated the Sacramento Kings 116-110. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

My point isn’t that the Kings aren’t a sub par roster incapable of winning games. My point is that they lack the ability to sustain a competitive pace & level of play even after having surprising displays of said talent come together on the court.

So, with a 1-6 start and the next 6 games featuring 4 returning playoff teams, I mentioned last week 1-12 or 2-11 could happen, and now its starting to look like more of a probability than a possibility.

If the Western Conference resembles anything that it was last year, (which it will, especially with the Thunder actually having a team this year) then the Kings are going to have to win between 46-48 games. I majored in English Literature, I’m the furthest thing from a mathematician you’ll see, but if my calculations are correct, that means they’ll only be allowed to lose between 36 & 38 games this year.

Starting off the year losing a third of the assuming allowable games is not what King’s fans wanted, or what owners will tolerate.  Should the downward trend continue, there’s only one thing left to do.

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Kanye fans unite; turn on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, track 11, lets play the “Blame Game”.

Finger pointing is an automatic choice of weapon in any disgruntled fan or owners’s arsenal, readily aimed and fired at the first sign of a threat or metaphorical uprising. So, lets start it off.  Out of the 5 fingers God has blessed me with, I will make use of 3, and point onward towards a solution to turning this team around before they head to the Golden 1 Center next season.


Whats that? Did someone say Injuries?


Oh ok. Thank you Captain Obvious, injuries. Yes, the #1 reason the Kings haven’t automatically came out and looked like the team Vlade had put together this offseason with hopes of making a playoff run is because of injuries. You lose your best player, a top 10 player in the league at that, well, odds are your team isn’t going to play to their potential.

DeMarcus Cousins missed 4 of the first 7 games, Darren Collison is reported to be either day-to-day or out “indefinitely” depending on who you listen to, and even Curry missed out on the opportunity to play against his brother on a rare off night for the Warriors. Yes, we can blame injuries, and they are in large part a reason for the poor start, but ultimately that’s just part of the misshaped puzzle that had dragged the team down.

The blame game continues.  Shifting focus a little bit here, lets look at the god awful play at the small forward and shooting guard positions. This was supposed to be Ben McLemore’s year. He was supposed to come out and look aggressive, score points, guard the opposing teams best player, and actually live up to the hype that brought him to Sacramento in the first place. With averaging under 6 points, under 2 assists, and less than a steal per contest, he has looked anything but that.

Ben was taken out of the starting lineup for the first time in 85 games when the Kings took the court against the Phoenix Suns, and he deserved it. The man has been terrible on the court, looking shy, timid, and afraid at times to touch the ball. The Kings should look to trade him while other teams can still be sold on the project player he is, and get a defensive stopper in return to at least help on one end of the court.

Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

This may not be what Kings fans’ want to hear, but when they finally decide to get rid of McLemore, Rudy Gay needs to be part of that deal as well. His huge contract does nothing for the Kings, and with his inability to size up big men or run the floor to push the ball at a George Karl preferred tempo; In whatever offense the Kings set up in, half court or other, Rudy doesn’t fit.

His inefficiency creates mismatches in oppositions favor, is a turnover machine, and for a team that needs to find an identity and grind out some wins fast, Rudy needs to go. Fan favorite or not, the Kings are better off without him on the roster.

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With Cousins coming back, the quality of play will improve, even with an expected loss against the San Antonio Spurs coming up tonight. In order for the Kings to truly improve, besides staying healthy, removing Gay and McLemore from the roster and impending rotation is the best way for the team to gain momentum going forward and catch the consistent tough & victorious style of play necessary to succeed-or gain a playoff berth-in the Western Conference.

Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never to early to speculate, but with the Western Conference being the way that it is, a rapid change is what the Kings will need in order to live up to those preseason expectations and make a true run at the playoffs. Should things continue the way they are, we may be looking at a midseason implosion and some larger changes that may lie ahead.

*cough, cough*…head coach.

Whats that Captain Obvious? You muttered something again, I couldn’t hear you.

Next: Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Sacramento Kings


Oh ok, heard you that time. Yes, that could very well be the end of the blame game come February, pending the midseason results of the Kings.