Sacramento Kings: Coach Joerger continues to not understand

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Head coach Dave Joerger of the Sacramento Kings talks with De'Aaron Fox
SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Head coach Dave Joerger of the Sacramento Kings talks with De'Aaron Fox /

Sacramento Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger continues to play veterans significant minutes over younger developing talents going against the team’s long-term plans.

The Sacramento Kings are trapped at the bottom of the standings this season.  They have six games remaining and with a victory in each could salvage a 30 win season.  That is correct, the best the Kings can do this season is 30 wins and 52 losses, but that fact seems lost on Coach Dave Joerger.

The organization seems to understand.  It is why they traded away the talented George Hill to open up more minutes at the point for both De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason.  In mid-December, they attempted to enact a plan to rest veterans, so the developing talent could play.  Coach Joerger rarely followed that plan, though.

Joerger continues not to get that the team is building for the future including Thursday’s game against the Pacers.  Seven games left in the season and the coach continues not to understand the team’s philosophy.  Here is what went down:

Vinsanity runs

Sacramento employs Vince Carter, a future Hall of Famer and a fantastic person, but a 41-year-old man in the twilight of his NBA career.  Joerger decides to play Vinsanity 22 minutes against Indiana.  I could understand if it was their last home game (Carter likely moves on next season) or the final game of the season, but they have two home games left and four road games.  The fact that Joerger played Carter over rookie Justin Jackson and the developing Skal Labissiere gets me a bit agitated.  What is the point?  Sure, it was a close game and despite hurting lottery odds winning games can do wonders for a young squad.  Playing Carter over players that are your future seems foolish, though.  Carter will no longer be playing by the time Sacramento returns to the playoffs, so running him does not help the team.

Related Story: Why Labissiere should play over Z-Bo the rest of the way

The minute’s distribution

The fact that Labissiere only played 26 minutes (I know foul trouble likely played a part in it, but he did not foul out) and Jackson just got 23 is a shame.  Both players had the skill to start the game but only play limited minutes.  Same could be said for Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox as well.

The fact that Joerger played Carter over JaKarr Sampson and Bruno Caboclo makes no sense.  Both players have the potential to improve and be part of the rotation when the Kings are in contention.  It is hard to get them better without playing them, though.

Final thoughts

Coach Joerger continues to be out of step with the Sacramento Kings’ plan to play for the future.  He continually plays veteran players over youth and has little regard for improving his future.  Kosta Koufos earned 21 minutes against Indiana as well.  That is slightly defensible given the Kings lack of options at the five, but WCS could have played 32 and Koufos 16.  Joerger needs to improve his future by letting them play and make mistakes in the present, but he has a need to play those veterans.

Next: Alize Johnson could be a draft steal for Sacramento

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