There have only been four games thus far in the Sacramento Kings season, but it’s already exceedingly clear that a shakeup of the starting lineup is needed.
In the Sacramento Kings’ 101-94 loss to the Nuggets Monday night, Richaun Holmes was the best player on the team, scoring 24 points on 10/14 shooting and securing 13 rebounds. But Holmes did more than just score on Monday night. He also helped hold one of the best centers in the NBA, Nikola Jokic, to just 9 points on 4/15 shooting.
On offense, all of his damage came as the roll man in the pick n’ roll. Holmes got up for several dunks in the game, including two absolute posters, the first on Mason Plumlee and a second on Will Barton.
In addition to those impressive dunks, Holmes also displayed some impressive touch on floaters as well as tough layups. He proved that his offensive game fits well among the Kings’ starting five.
Defensively, Holmes is probably the best rim protector on the roster, which was on display last night in a couple of different instances. He recorded two blocks, but more importantly, he aggressively contested all shots around the rim making his presence known to anyone who entered the paint.
Why Should Dedmon Be Replaced?
While Holmes has played well in the team’s first four games, fellow center Dewayne Dedmon has gotten off to a rough start with his new team. Whether it’s been due to a lack of cohesion with the rest of the starting lineup or just some overall cold shooting, Dedmon has looked outright lost at times.
Dedmon’s biggest issue so far has been turnovers. Despite it never being a huge issue for him anywhere else in his career, Dedmon has averaged an astonishing 6.3 turnovers per game through four games. Dedmon’s biggest attribute the last couple of years has been his ability to shoot accurately from long distance. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much of that yet, shooting 2/11 from three to this point.
I feel pretty confident that once Dedmon adjusts to the new offense and slows down a little bit, he will start making better decisions and the threes will start to fall. But the Kings are 0-4 and don’t have much time to be patient. It is evident that the team could really use an infusion of energy and athleticism into the starting lineup as soon as possible.
Holmes is an absolute breath of fresh air compared to the Kings’ previous rangy, athletic big man, Willie Cauley-Stein.
Holmes is the antithesis of Cauley-Stein in every sense. Despite Cauley-Stein’s elite length and athleticism, he never succeeded to his full potential at protecting the rim or becoming an elite roll man a la Clint Capela or prime Tyson Chandler. He often preferred to shoot questionable midrange shots, because he thought of himself in a similar vein as guys like Kristaps Porzingis or Karl-Anthony Towns.
Richaun Holmes knows exactly who he is, which is refreshing for the Sacramento Kings and their fans.