The Sacramento Kings are in the playoff hunt, but things have got to change if they’re going to earn a spot.
In over two months of NBA basketball, the Western Conference standings are starting to take shape. Everything has been pretty much predictable as far as who sits atop the standings, but surprisingly the eighth seed is fair game this season and the Sacramento Kings are in the mix.
Although Cousins is getting support, Cousins should be putting up 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds every game and should be ahead of Russell Westbrook in the scoring race. Cousins can lead this team to the playoffs if he and his coach can make some changes.
With the help of Coach Dave Joerger’s play calling, Cousins should keep getting the ball as much as he is, but he needs to be set up differently. Too many times this season, Cousins has been caught in isolation, taking the role of point guard and trying to go one-on-one.
I’ll admit, he’s athletic and can move for a big man, but he shouldn’t handle the ball at top of the key like he has been.
Cousins should be posting up down low. He has the team to move the ball around the perimeter. His task should be to wait for the ball to come to him under the rim and out muscle the defender. The Kings aren’t the best on offensive boards either and this is where Cousins can improve.
Though he’s working this team together piece by piece, it seems his team is either going on a run to get back in the game or they’re head-to-head and give it up in the end.
Joerger has had success in the second half with going small (mainly due to Cousins in foul trouble). The team plays great defense and this is where the small guys are finding most of their points.
When the team is within reach of the lead, Joerger tends to go back to his starting five, whoever it was on that night.
When this happens, the pace slows down and Joerger starts leaning on Cousins more. In my opinion, Joerger should focus on this small ball tactic later in the game with Cousins and beat the defense to basket.
If he wants to stick with his starting five late in the game, He has to get more out of Rudy Gay. Gay has battled a hip flexor injury but when in the game, he can be the difference. He is averaging 19 points a game but the points aren’t coming at the right times.
If Gay can make a presence in the fourth quarter, it can take the attention off Cousins and help Joerger set up better offensive schemes. This way, Cousins can avoid a late turnover and Joerger can be in control of who he wants to have the ball in close game situations.