The 2010 version of the Sacramento Kings is setting up to be quite interesting.
And it is just 15 games into the 82-game regular season. Already, the Kings have had major defensive, offensive and on-court chemistry issues.
Word is they’ve got a bunch of young talents, who are not showing an inclination to listen to the coaching staff or showing a collective dedication to hard work.
Until there is an acquisition of those two required traits, it will be difficult for the Kings (4-11) to maximize their strengths.
They’ve got 10 losses in their past 11 games entering tonight’s home game against the Indiana Pacers as an example of what not to do.
Other teams are experiencing problems of a similar nature to those of Sacramento. Consider the Miami Heat, a team many believed capable of contending for an NBA title this season after the free-agent signings of LeBron James and Chris Bosh and the re-signing of Dwayne Wade.
The Heat’s problems aren’t exactly like Sacramento’s, yet attempting to mesh its considerable talent into a consistent force is very much akin to what is going on here.
Tyreke Evans, last season’s Rookie of the Year, is struggling. Of all the problems one would have imagined, Evans having difficulty scoring was not one.
Yet, that’s been a major problem early into his second pro season.
First-round draft choice, DeMarcus Cousins, was tossed from practice Monday afternoon, reportedly for running his mouth to the coaching staff. Like Evans, Cousins has had problems scoring and is shooting just 38 percent from the field.
It’s likely these players are experiencing these difficulties for the first times in their lives.
The Kings are coming off a weekend home loss to the Chicago Bulls that displayed their season in a microcosm. Sacramento was superb during the first half while establishing a 57-44 lead.
The Kings held a 71-57 advantage with 3:23 left in the third before their game disintegrated into basketball mush.
Then their fourth-quarter performance was so putrid it had to be seen to be believed.
Sacramento made just three of 21 field-goal attempts, committed eight turnovers and was outscored, 27 to nine.
That nine-point mention is not a typographic error. The Kings scored nine points during 12 minutes despite having 29 possessions.
Coach Paul Westphal still is attempting to find the right combination of players to invest in basics. Moving the ball to the open man, covering for teammates defensively and following the team’s principles would be an excellent beginning.
No one is expecting the Kings to consistently perform at a playoff level. Yet, the Kings clearly can play better than they have.
Antoine Wright was waived Monday and Hasaan Whiteside was sent to the NBDL to play with Reno.
Kings president Geoff Petrie said the team doesn’t plan to add any more players in the short term.
“We’ve got to find a way of playing better together,” Petrie said Monday. “We’ve got to generate a more consistent offense.”
There is another one of those basics the Kings must adopt.