If you’ve been paying attention to the NBA blog world this month, then you’re quite familiar with the blog preview project that Jeff Clark at Celtics Blog put together. Here is my submission for the Kings previews.
Be sure to check out other Kings previews at Sactown Royalty and Basketball Fiend.
Team Name: Sacramento Kings
Last Year’s Record: 17-65
Key Losses: Dignity, Respect, Rashad McCants (not a loss, more of addition by subtraction), Francisco Garcia’s health, Ike Diogu, Calvin Booth, Bobby Jackson
Key Additions: Tyreke Evans, Sean May, Omri Casspi, Jon Brockman, Sergio Rodriguez, Desmond Mason, Paul Westphal
1. What Significant Moves were made during the off-season?
The significant moves of the off-season were changing the coach and the culture of Sacramento Kings basketball. Over the past couple of seasons, they decided to go with unproven coaches with either serious PowerPoint skills or a TV series that was currently available on DVD. This time? They went with a proven, successful coach capable of teaching young players and mixing in a few veterans. Instead of going with the flashy, sexy point guard pick in the draft with Ricky Rubio, they opted for the best player available in Tyreke Evans. They also drafted two tough role players in Jon Brockman and Omri Casspi before bringing in Sean May (minus 40 lbs) and Desmond Mason (minus the jumper). It didn’t solve any of the problems but it definitely started the change this organization has been desperate for.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?
They can get to the free throw line. In fact, they have a real opportunity between Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin to lead the league in free throw attempts or make a fine effort trying. They can score the ball when they give it to Kevin Martin. They can also attack the basket with their backcourt better than most teams. Other than that, I wouldn’t exactly call the rest of what they do “strengths.”
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?
Other than defense, rebounding and ball movement, I really can’t pinpoint any weaknesses with this team. They were one of the worst defensive and rebounding teams in the league last year and on top of that, they were terrible at moving the ball in the preseason. But other than that…
4. What are the goals for this team?
There isn’t a set number of wins that this team is aiming for by any means. They’re just trying to get better, be more competitive on the road, and begin protecting the home court once again. Avoiding a 60-loss season would also be a huge boost for this team and the fan base.
5. Can Tyreke Evans win Rookie of the Year?
Yes. He can and he will. Tyreke Evans has the best chance at winning the award because he has the best chance of leading all rookies in scoring this year. He can get to the basket whenever he wants, plays nice defense, and will shoot a ton of free throws. Throw in Blake Griffin already missing six weeks due to injury and you’ve got yourself a new favorite for winning the ROY hardware.
Projected Finish: 28-54