2. Perimeter defense
This is an old topic with the Kings by now. Keegan Murray and De’Aaron Fox have come a long way as defenders, but that is simply not enough. No one else who sees regular playing time is a plus defender on the perimeter.
When you have someone like Rudy Gobert or Brook Lopez around the rim to erase defensive mistakes from others, it’s not that big of an issue. The Kings don’t have that, however.
Domantas Sabonis is not a rim protector, but he is crucial to the Kings’ offensive success, so they need to work around his defensive shortcomings. The answer is better defense on the perimeter to keep players out of the paint.
A trade might be the best option to address that but until that happens the team will have to work with what they have. That means everyone has to take pride in their defense, slide their feet, bump opponents every once in a while, get in the passing lanes, scramble, and take charges.
They don’t have to turn into a top defense overnight—that will never happen with the players they have—but they should at least be good enough to make offenses work. Technically, the Kings are 17th in the league in defensive rating, which is okay considering the personnel, but a lot of times it doesn’t look like it.
Against the Bucks, they just let Damian Lillard walk into his three, and against the Pacers, they let T.J. McConnell score twenty points without attempting a single three. Things like that just can’t happen, and some of it can be prevented if everyone is locked in and puts in the work.