2015-16 NBA Previews – Kings
The Sacramento Kings continue to be a disaster. In Demarcus Cousins they have one of the better players in the league but they have been unable to fill in around him in a meaningful way and keep changing the coach and cast of characters around him. There is little reason to hope this year will be much different from the past.
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Sacramento Kings Season Preview
Head Coach: George Karl
2014 Record: 20-53
Kings Odds to NBA Title: +15000
Kings Odds to Win Conference: +8000
Every year I have hope that the Kings are going to make some kind of breakthrough but it never happens. This year I am even tempering my hopes.
Cousins is one of the most dominant players in the league. Sure everyone is going smaller these days but he is still a force, a rare big man who can get scores and make free throws – that last part in underrated. You can’t hack away at this guy.
I wouldn’t have though that there games would mesh but Rudy Gay has performed well since joining the Kings. He can get buckets on his own and is good at drawing some attention away from Boogie. He gives then a late clock finisher.
Also, last year the league learned just how far PG Jeff Teague has come as a player. He keeps things organized, can score and is getting better defensively.
Last year was pretty much a write off but I like that they are going with George Karl as coach. The reality is that he is a winner (I know, no championships but he gets his teams to the playoffs wherever he goes)
Darren Collison will be critical to achieving any measure of improvement. He has proven to be a capable performer at PG in the league.
This team is very weak at the shooting guard position. Jimmer never worked out, Ben McLemore has been mostly a bust and they have already traded away Nik Stauskas. Most teams are strong here and they are not.
They are also not very strong at the power forward spot. Karl usually prefers to be more flow than traditional there but if it going to be Quincy Acy they are going to lose that matchup more often than not.
As they seem to have a roster generally in flux there is also not much depth on the Kings. They added Rajon Rondo but it is really hard to say what that does for this club which really does not need a PG who can’t shoot.
Kings 2015 Betting Prediction:
This team could be improved but I doubt it. Either way I am quite content to let the first 20 games play out to try and get a feel for their level and style now that Karl has had a training camp to implement his system.
The hard part for this team is figuring out how they are going to do against the other good teams out there. They don’t match up great with the Cavs but the teams out West, which play with more flow, are better matchups. Look for some road games there where they might be underdogs.
Most of the time this is going to be a fade target but they might catch some guys in some bad spots after they have been roughed up by their NoCal neighbours Golden State.
Kings Key Personnel Losses:
- PF Carl Landry
- PF Jason Thompson
- PF Reggie Evans
None of these players was a star but you knew what you were getting, a certain physicality and rebounding production. They shuffled the deck here but I am not sure they improved.
Kings Top Newcomers:
- C Kostos Koufos
- PG Rajon Rondo
- SF Caron Butler
Koufos is a nice backup center. Its a dropoff from Cousins but he is as good or better than the other backups in the league. Rondo given them some insurance if Collison goes down again but he can be a handful if he is not getting the respect he feels he deserves.
- F Willie Cauley-Stein
- F Duje Dukan
Both of their draftees give the Kings some length. Cauley-Stein can be a great defensive player but I wonder if he will ever develop an offensive game. Dukan can shoot but is not nearly the athlete. If you could combine then into one you would have something.
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