Kings set embarrassing mark in team turnovers

DeMarcus_Cousins_LC7

These were not your Grandma’s apple turnovers.

The Sacramento Kings put a foul taste in viewers’ mouths by way of sloppy play this season. Turnovers were the common theme, and there was more variety than Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Over-dribbling, forced passes and offensive fouls all contributed to a year of wasted possessions.

Sacramento averaged 16.3 turnovers per game, ranking 27th in the NBA and the most as a franchise since the 1998-99 season. The Kings recorded at least 20 turnovers in a match 20 times this season, and notched single-digit totals only twice. It was a telling sign when the team spilled a season-high 27 turnovers in a season-opening loss to the Golden State Warriors.

The table below shows the turnovers between three Kings head coaches this season.

W-L record Assists p/g Turnovers p/g Points off turnovers
Michael Malone 11-13 19.5 16.3 14.7
Tyrone Corbin 7-21 19.2 16.5 15.5
George Karl 11-19 22.1 16.0 15.5

 

The table below breaks down turnover responsibilities among the players (number in parenthesis is games played with the Kings).

Assists p/g Turnovers p/g Turnovers per 36 min % of team’s total turnovers
DeMarcus Cousins(59) 3.6 4.3 4.5  19.1%
Rudy Gay(68) 3.7 2.7 2.7  13.7%
Darren Collison(45) 5.6 2.5 2.6  8.4%
 Andre Miller(30) 4.7 1.9 3.4  4.4%
Ben McLemore(82) 1.7 1.7 1.7  10.4%
Ramon Sessions(36) 2.7 1.4 2.9  3.8%
Omri Casspi(67) 1.5 1.3 2.2  6.6%
 Ray McCallum(68) 2.8 1.3 2.1  6.4%
David Stockton(3) 3.0 1.3 4.4  0.3%
Jason Thompson(81) 1.0 1.0 1.5  6.3%
Reggie Evans(47) 0.7 1.0 2.1  3.4%
Derrick Williams(74) 0.7 0.8 1.4  4.2%
 Carl Landry(70) 0.4 0.8 1.6  4.1%
Nik Stauskas(73) 0.9 0.5 1.3  3.0%
Quincy Miller(6) 0.5 0.5 1.8  0.2%
Ryan Hollins(46) 0.3 0.5 2.0  1.9%
David Wear(2) 0.5 0 0  0%
Sim Bhullar(3) 0.3 0 0  0%
Eric Moreland(3) 0.0 0 0  0%

 

Analysis

  • Michael Malone’s firing in mid-December damaged the Kings’ offensive efficiency as well as its defense. Luckily for the franchise, George Karl jump-started the team’s ball movement and made strides towards fixing the sloppiness.
  • DeMarcus Cousins ranked second in the NBA with a career-high in turnovers per game. While he faced constant double and triple-teams, a few of Cousins’ turnovers were the result of his decisions as point center. Perhaps it’s time to let a guard run the the offense.
  • Rudy Gay saw a drop in usage percentage of 27.6 to 27.0 from a year ago. More than subsequently his turnovers per game decreased by nearly a half.
  • When healthy, Darren Collison looked poised as the Kings’ floor general, but he’d like to cut down mistakes in his second go-around.
  • Shooting guard Ben McLemore improved his decision making in his sophomore NBA season to increase his assists by 0.7 and his turnovers to 0.5 per contest.
  • Ray McCallum, who started at point for the the final 30 games of the season, managed a 2-1 assist to turnover ratio. That will have to improve if he hopes to compete for a starting role at the one.
  • Speaking of 2-1 ratios, current Wizard and eight-year veteran Ramon Sessions couldn’t manage one. His trade departure was best for both parties.
  • Sessions’ replacement, 39-year-old Andre Miller, breathed life into the Kings’ stagnant ball movement. Nearly two turnovers per game off the bench left more to be desired, but he provided a much needed jolt to the second unit.
  • Rim attacker Derrick Williams had a superb season taking care of the ball. The forward’s knack to drive and put the ball on the floor without getting picked is one of his most underrated skills.
  • Despite his struggles shooting the rock, Nik Stauskas was responsible with the leather. As the season wore on, the off guard increased his dribbling and passing with no harm done.
  • Coaches will review game tape in the offseason and conclude that Reggie Evans and Ryan Hollins should see a reduction in touches.

 

The Kings built some momentum rolling into the offseason, but the 2014-15 campaign will serve as a painful reminder of the consequences of careless basketball.

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About: Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.