Garrett Temple is the backbone of the Sacramento Kings as a consistent defensive and leadership presence. Continue reading for the analysis.
Garrett Temple has been invaluable for the Sacramento Kings this season. He’s showcased the dependability, consistency, and reliability that have helped him carve out an excellent career in the NBA. Temple is a refreshing microcosm of all three traits mentioned above. He, also, displays them night in and night out. I find that his stellar play is often underappreciated. It is tremendously unfortunate because Temple’s game over the course of the season is more than deserving of proper recognition.
Undervalued and Underestimated
Temple is incredibly underrated as a player. He is an embodiment of poise that one would expect from a veteran NBA player. Temple does a lot more than provide the Kings with a daily dose of veteran leadership, though. He has quietly been playing the best basketball of his seven-year career. Temple is averaging a career-high eight points per game, shooting approximately 39% from the field, and is showing zero signs of slowing down.
Temple’s play over the last ten games has also been impressive. He averaged 9.4 points per game on 43% shooting during that stretch. (ESPN). He provided solid defense on Lebron James and was a crucial cog in what turned out to be a winning effort versus the Cleveland Cavaliers last week. Temple limited the ever dominant James to a meager 16 points. Garrett Temple has shown that he can do it all and has proven himself to be one of the Kings most efficient all-around players this season.
Keeping it Real
Temple isn’t afraid to speak his mind, either. As a vocal leader of a young, inexperienced Sacramento Kings team, he has the responsibility to hold his teammates accountable. He offered harsh criticism of the team’s lackluster performance over their past couple of games. Temple held nothing back in a statement made to Kings Insider James Ham of NBC Sports,
"“We don’t guard a soul, haven’t defended a soul. If you don’t guard in the NBA, you’re going to lose every game, I don’t care who you play. We haven’t defended whatsoever, at all, point blank.”"
While a quote like this might be discouraging to Kings fans, you have to appreciate the genuine transparency of Temple’s evaluation. To be frank, the team’s effort over the last few games hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
The Kings so desperately need a player like Garrett Temple for his leadership. A player who leads by example. Someone who’s not afraid to call out a teammate and hold them to a higher standard. What this young Kings team has in Temple is someone who’s going to keep it real and force himself and other players to be accountable for their performance. Temple’s value cannot be taken for granted because it transcends basketball. The Kings are fortunate and should consider themselves lucky to have such a savvy, productive, and efficient vet at their disposal who can mentor and contribute on and off the court.
One thing is for sure, the Sacramento Kings know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they can depend on Garrett Temple. Now, it’s time for others to step up and follow suit.