Poll: Who has been the Sacramento Kings’ best player?

Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins from behind (Photo: Tobin Halsey)

As a team, the Sacramento Kings have not had much success to start the 2013-14 season.  Collectively, their effort has been questionable in several of their 11 games, which has led to inconsistent play.  But individually speaking, the Kings have had two bright spots in particular that have brought a high level of intensity on a nightly basis.

DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas have undoubtedly been the Kings’ two best players this season.  Cousins and Thomas have been able to back up their statures as team leaders for the Kings with productive numbers.  But which of the two has been the Kings’ best player?  Before we let you decide, let’s break down what both have been able to accomplish through 11 games

DeMarcus Cousins

  • Base Stats

    • 29.8 minutes per game

    • 21.5 points per game

    • 9.9 rebounds per game

    • 46.4% from the field

    • 69.5% from free throw line

    • 1.8 steals per game

    • 1.5 assists per game

    • 1.4 blocks per game

    • 2.7 turnovers per game

    • 4.1 personal fouls per game

  • Advanced Stats

    • 99.2 offensive rating

    • 106.4 defensive rating

    • 51.5 TS%

    • 46.4 eFG%

    • 19.5% rebounding percentage

Since receiving a hefty payday before the season, Cousins has played to his potential.  What might be most impressive about the 23-year-old center’s output thus far has been his ability to contribute across the board.  Not too many players in the league are able to average close to two steals and and a block and a half per game, but Cousins right now has that distinction.

His shooting-percentage from the field could stand to improve, but it currently is the highest it’s been in his four seasons in the NBA.  Cousins has shown improved patience around the basket, which has led to more scoring opportunities in the low post.  Of his 194 shot attempts this season, 64.9 percent of them have come in the painted area.

Defensively, he still has a tendency to gamble on steals and pick up ticky-tack fouls on careless reach-ins.  But as evident in his 1.4 blocks per game, he’s making a concerted effort to become more than just a great drawer of charges.  He’s also doing a much better job of handling his emotions.  Cousins so far has picked up just two technical fouls this year.

Isaiah Thomas

  • Base Stats

    • 27.7 minutes per game

    • 18.4 points per game

    • 4.6 assists per game

    • 47.1% from the field

    • 43.6% from 3-point range

    • 87.3% from free throw line

    • 1.0 steals per game

    • 2.4 turnovers per game

  • Advanced Stats

    • 103.7 offensive rating

    • 102.7 defensive rating

    • 60.9 TS% (second on the team)

    • 53.3 eFG% (second on the team)

    • 21.0 assists per 100 possessions  (assist ratio)

With the way Thomas has produced this season, it’s hard to argue against the third-year guard.  In 11 games played, Thomas has been the Kings’ second-leading scorer behind Cousins and he’s done all this as a reserve off the bench.

His shooting percentages have been through the roof.  His 43.6 percent from 3-point range is third on the team only to Travis Outlaw and Jimmer Fredette, who’ve played much fewer minutes this season than the Kings’ backup point guard.  Thomas has come a long way from being the suspect 3-point shooter he was when he first entered the league.

Thomas may not be the pure point guard that starter Greivis Vasquez is.  But, the 24-year-old veteran knows exactly who he is as an NBA player and doesn’t stray away from his identity as a scorer.  Through the Kings’ first 11 games, Thomas has scored in double figures each time, a feat none of his other teammates have been able to accomplish.

So with what you’ve seen from them and with their numbers in front of you, who has been the Kings’ best player so far this season – DeMarcus Cousins or Isaiah Thomas?  Weigh in on the poll below.

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Statistical support provided by NBA.com/stats.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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