Sacramento Kings Head Coach David Joerger recently completed his first full season of their rebuilding project and appears to be in for the near future. How did he fare this year?
Sacramento Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger is expected to be brought back for his third season next fall. His return coupled with the announcement earlier in the season that they were picking up Joerger’s fourth-year option indicates that, for now, he seems to be the guy for the Kings franchise.
With that in mind, it’s worth it to look into how well he coached this squad through what was, at times, a frustrating season. Let’s break it down between offense, defense and the all-important intangibles.
Offensive Grade: C-
Despite what the highlights sometimes showed, it was not a pretty picture on offense for the Kings. They were dead last in points per game. Their offensive pace was at the bottom (94.9), and Sacramento’s offensive rating was second-to-last (103.7). Oof.
One has to wonder if there is a disconnect between the scoring talents of the roster and the offensive philosophy of the coaching staff.
It is worth noting that the Kings were reasonably successful from beyond the arc. They were the fourth most accurate three-point shooting team, trailing only the Warriors, the Celtics and the Wizards. Yes, technically speaking, the Kings were more accurate from three than the Rockets!
A big reason for that is the sample size. Sacramento was near the bottom in both makes and attempts (26th and 28th, respectively). Long range shooting wasn’t something Joerger explored often enough in his game plan.
It’s a shame, too, because Buddy Hield shook off a disastrous start to the season and became simply terrific from long range by the end of the year (43.1%!). Bogdan Bogdanovic, as well, put up efficient numbers from three (39.2%). Let them shoot, Dave!
Alas, this has never been Dave Joerger’s style. The offensive pace and points per game cited above are pretty consistent with his three years coaching the Memphis Grizzlies. His offensive rating has been at least league-average in the past, but that can be somewhat chalked up to the fact that those Grizzlies squads had better rosters than the Kings. With that said, it’s worth asking whether Joerger is going to be able to adapt his style to the team he now has. If he isn’t, the Kings may want to move on to a different head coach sooner rather than later.