Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kings have more pressing problems than Cousins' mouth

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?


  1. fuck you marty mac and fuck your 20 year old son. you dont know shit about the kings and whatever "turmoil" is going down there unless you experience it first hand. bitch.

  2. Should anybody even respond to the first comment? I don't even understand what the hell that guy is talking about...Is he really that dumb or just trying to be a troll douche?

  3. I personally would like to give Pooh Jeter some minutes and see how he plays, but I don't think that he is the 'Answer', per se. A lot of people think he will be better than the other point guards and turn the Kings around, and I guess we will see, but I think Westphal has seen how these guys mesh during practice and feels he isn't ready to contribute...

    I used to hate watching Adelman play the same six players for extended minutes while perfectly rested, awesome players sat on the bench, ready to contribute for three or four minutes and help the team, and that drove me crazy. But that is the way it goes, I guess. I'm not the coach!

    I think you are spot on, Marty, about the situation, and Cousins is just the tip of the iceberg. I think a trade for JT can't come soon enough for him, (which might not be a bad thing, either, as he can't seem to play without fouling or finish decently) but they still have a long way to go...

  4. Good stuff Marty. One thing I disagree with on is that Landry can be a low post scoring option. He's become a mid-range faceup player since coming to Sacramento, but in Houston he was most effective around the basket, because of his incredible patience.

    We got glimpses of what Landry was capable of against Phoenix, when he was able to get whatever he wanted down low, and even when he missed, able to get to the line. Regardless of his struggles early in the season, he's a good FT shooter, and the Kings need to feature him more down low, for easy buckets and more trips to the line.

    Also to the idiot who commented first, did you even read anything that was written? Looks like you made it big time Marty, already getting hate comments that don't make any sense.

  5. 1st comment definitely written by Cousin's himself. . .

  6. Marty - great post, haven't been back for a couple of months, glad to see you are still posting. Your comments pretty well sum up the King's current situation as well or better as a trip through the advanced stats would.

    Gotta agree with Aykis on Landry but besides that, spot on. Shoot, I have a 17 year old son and I was hoping for a little maturity sooner rather than later. Another dream smashed I guess.

    Congratulations on the link posting @ hoopshype. It's too bad Marc Stein or some of the other alleged talent over at ESPN didn't check with the local brother before posting all their rumors. Are you going to be putting up anything on which way you think the King's organization and team are heading anytime soon? I hope so.


  7. I was always taught that cursing is a substitute for the fact you have nothing intelligent to say, "Comment #1".You sound like a complete idiot. Next time, if you have any, try to bring some basketball knowledge to the conversation.

  8. Anonymous Comment 1- Very pathetic, name calling is the hallmark of lack wits.

  9. Man, who is this anonymous kid without the nuts to write his name and cuss a brother and his 20-year old son... Nothing worse than a gutless chump. And that's what you are. If you ever want to step to me, bring it and we can hook it up. Bring your lunch, too, sucker. I will come prepared for whatever. If I didn't have good sense, you'd really have pissed me off, but I know ignorance combined with no heart is a worthless combination.

  10. Aykis, I'm still waiting for the purple pan to point you out so I can introduce myself. I've been getting nasty email and comments from suckers like that earlier anonymous poster for decades. When I covered Jerry Jones' purchase of the Cowboys in Dallas, I was told I'd be shot on my way to the car from the building. That scared some of my fellow employees who suddenly didn't want to walk to the garage with me, but didn't scare me. It did make me look over my shoulder and carry some self-defense though. I'd have a little respect for this little punk to the bone chump if he made himself known. But like most cowards, he hides. I still think Landry is most effective as a face-up shooter. I like his game, but I don't see him as the primary option with his back to the basket. I believe Cousins can dominate down there and I don't see Landry as that guy.

  11. Blue John thanks for hitting me up; the maturity will come, sir, albeit incrementally, lol. Mark Stein is my boy and usually pretty solid. He's got my number. He should have called, I could have hipped him, but whatcha gonna do? Not sure what you mean about where the Kings are heading organizationally, so give me more to work with. Right now, I'd say they are headed to hell if they don't pray. Just kidding. I'm interested to see how this turns out because they seem to be underachieving.. Thanks again.

  12. Hey Marty whats up with the Kings offense? I mean year after year it looks like there is not enough movement. It looks like the Kings jus run one option and then freestyle until a shot is taken. I dont understand westphal's offense at all. If everyone was doing something like cutting or setting screens then we wouldn't look so stagnant. This has been going on since Adelman left. Our offense is atrocious and so is our defense. Can our guards stop anyone from driving the ball? thats how most of our bigs get their fouls is from trying to cover i guards defensive mistakes. Man we are a work in progress for real.

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