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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SDH's 2012/2013 NBA Worst to First Previews & Predictions: 29. Sacramento Kings

Overall Win/Loss Record :  22-44, fifth place Pacific Division

Last Season’s Rank

25
Projected 2012/2013 Finish

29
Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank
  •  Points Scored: 98.8 (6th)
  • Points Allowed: 104.4 (30th)
  • Team FG%: .436 (26th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .476 (30th)
  • Rebounds per game: 42.9 (10th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 45.0 (28th)


Returning Individual Statistical Leaders
  • Scoring: Marcus Thornton (18.1)
  • Rebounds per game:  Demarcus Cousins (11.0)
  • Minutes per game: Marcus Thornton (34.9)
  • Assists per game: Tyreke Evans (4.5)
  • Steals per game:  Demarcus Cousins (1.5)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Demarcus Cousins (1.1)


Projected Starters Based on Last Season’s Performance and Projected Impact


Key Reserves Based on Last Season’s Performances and Potential Impact.
  1. James Johnson (SF),
  2. Thomas Robinson (PF),
  3. Chuck Hayes (C),
  4. John Salmons (G/F),
  5. Aaron Brooks (G)

2012/2013 Projection based on roster depth, previous performances, and current strengths of opponents:  17-65, last in Pacific Division, on their way to Anahiem

Analysis:

To put it bluntly, the Sacramento Kings are a complete mess: it’s a completely disappointing franchise that is disorganized from top to become, and consists of a roster of immature, undisciplined “me first” players.  Save for two players, the recently acquired James Johnson and backup center Chuck Hayes, the rest of the players cannot function without the ball in their hands.  In fact, the Kings can be seen as the perfect example of a team with “too many captains and not enough soldiers.”  Everyone wants to be the star while no one wants to put aside their own personal agendas to do what is necessary to win games.  Factor the immaturity and lack of discipline, Kings fans can look forward to seeing their home team crash and burn yet again.

It is not as if Sacramento lacks talent or athleticism—the Kings have a bevy of young and talented athletes that make up the roster.  In the right culture, this team could thrive greatly with the proper coaching staff and front office.  Unfortunately it seems as if both the coaching staff and the front office have been out to lunch leaving a group of potential young studs to fend for themselves with little or no guidance whatsoever.  It is a far cry from the Sacramento Kings team that rose from relative obscurity to become a world class organization during the late 1990s to the early 21st century; however, that era is all but gone as Sacramento has gone from the toast of the NBA and potential championship contender to becoming the butt of all jokes in sports. One has to ask him or herself how can an organization that had so much promise and potential can suddenly crash and burn the way the Kings have.

One needs to look no further than the top of the food chain with the team’s co-owners  Joe and Gavin Maloof.  From being the saviors of the franchise after buying and investing in the team to becoming the primary source behind the team’s demise.  It almost seems as if the Maloofs purposely want their team to fail in order to arouse enough apathy from the fans to run the team into the ground.  Considering the fact that the team has not even bothered to look for a suitable coach, but instead choice to re-up the contract of Keith Smart, a coach that guided the hapless Kings to a 9-41 record last season.  They could have gone to get a reputable coach such as Nate McMillan, Stan Van Gundy, or even a part timer such as Mike Fratello, who have proven record in building up struggling young teams into playoff contender.  Instead the front office decided to go with a guy who has a total of 45 wins in his two year coaching career.

It goes to expose the true agenda of the Maloofs: simply put, they do not want to stay in Sacramento and are doing everything in their power to ensure the team’s departure.  They are obviously looking for greener pastures as the city of Sacramento has been in a life or death struggle to keep the team in the city it has played in for the past thirty years.  Facing a financial system that essentially pushes out the smaller market teams into the cold, the Maloofs have been eyeing new territory to stake their NBA claim.  Many have speculated that the new King home might be in Southern California along the team’s Pacific division rival Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers—the city of Anaheim.  Yet despite all the speculation, the Kings remain in Sacramento under a cloud of uncertainly.

With all the turmoil surrounding the franchise, expect Sacramento to be a perennial bottom feeder yet again in the Western Conference.  The level of apathy and current lack of desire, maturity and professionalism can only spell doom for a franchise that will probably spend its last season in a city whose denizens have remained loyal to it through good time and bad.   The worst thing about this is that most likely once the team moves, ownership and front office will suddenly start making moves to make the team competitive once again—similar to what happened with the former Seattle Supersonics and New Jersey Nets.  That will probably be the final insult to injury for a city whose people has given everything it had to support its team only to be discarded away as if it were nothing.  Watching every game for this upcoming season will remain a lingering reminder of the sorrow and pain fans will feel once their team inevitably leaves.