Rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins’ temperament and tendency to woof are just two of the Sacramento Kings problems Sunday as they look to halt a four-game losing streak.
The Kings begin a four-game home stand against Detroit and it could get late really early in this season if Sacramento coach Paul Westphal’s crew doesn’t quickly get its act together. The Kings are 3-5.
Cousins reportedly has been talking back to coaches and doing so to the point where he has required special attention. To the point, where a source says, Westphal has had to step away from his personality to deal with the rookie.
Really? Has the big 20-year-old kid whom the Kings were able to pick with the No. 5 choice because he likes to run his mouth been running his mouth?
As it consistently has been said in this space, the early part of the season is a feeling-out process. Westphal and his staff have to figure how to deal with this team and vice versa.
Recently it came to light Cousins flapping his gums had become a distraction. Word is Westphal has been hearing verbiage from more than just the rookie. Again, that’s not a news flash.
The Kings have a squad littered with youngsters who really don’t know what they are doing, yet believe they do. That’s often what being young is about.
I know. I have a 20-year-old son.
Moreover, I’ve been there and didn’t know that.
Cousins, for the most part, has to figure out when to talk and when to shut up. For the most part, he has accomplished that during games and practices. He's just done dumb stuff like most young folks - and quite a few older folks - including those who have painted Cousins as a bad person or a loser or a troublemaker.
Certainly Cousins has fed the fire of those inflammatory assessments. The guess here is he doesn't care, but he should. Image really isn't everything, but education inside your craft is and if your behavior hampers learning, it needs to be adjusted.
Don’t try to read his sour-puss faces and grimaces. One of the worst things people do is try to look at another’s face and discern thoughts. Nobody is that smart. Some faces tell everything. Others tell nothing. Some appear to reveal one emotion when the reality is totally different.
Cousins has to understand there is a time to talk and a time to listen. And he always has to recognize the coaching staff is attempting to help him grow as a player and person. The Kings need him to move toward maximum production, like yesterday.
Coaches make mistakes, too, and if they don’t recognize that, they are moving in the wrong direction.
It’s likely the Kings coaching staff should share some of the blame because it usually takes two to beef. Additionally, if their dealings with Cousins have been unsuccessful and aren’t designated to be effective in the future, the directions need alterations.
More importantly, Westphal has more pressing issues.
The Kings need low-post point production as well as ways to score easy buckets. The former should much easier to locate.
Cousins, who has come off the bench in each of the past four games (all losses), is Sacramento’s low-post threat. The Kings have not used him in the post nearly as much as they should; as they need.
Carl Landry is a face-up, mid-range jump shooter. If he scores around the basket, it usually is off an offensive rebound or a fast break.
Jason Thompson has the size to play with his back to the basket, but doesn’t finish sufficiently. Besides, currently he can’t make consecutive free-throws with any consistency.
Westphal has not settled on a lineup or rotation at this point, so we might as well see Cousins at power forward alongside Dalembert. Foul trouble is not a concern since it has been a constant, anyway.
The bottom line is most teams cannot score with perimeter-oriented offense. The Kings likely would reside near the bottom of that list.
Include a defense permitting far too much penetration to be effective and there needs to be a more efficient offense to compete. Don't look for those points to come off effective manuvering on the break. The Kings often look as if they've never run a three-man weave, much less worked on spacing and passing in advantageous situations.
The Kings, however, have been in position to defeat New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota and Phoenix. So, all is not lost. Despite how ineffectively and unsightly, they’ve performed, the conversion of a few timely possession combined with similar defensive stops.
Yes, easier said than done.
Just about as easy as figuring out how to deal with young men who think they know it all.
Yo, while we're at it - can a brother get some Pooh Jeter?