Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by Jaymz Clements Comments


Projected Record: 29-53 (13th in West)


DeMarcus Cousins is all smiles (and selfies) with the media now. But can they win?

DeMarcus Cousins is all smiles (and selfies) with the media now. But can they win?

Head coach: Michael Malone
2013-14 record: 28-54
2013-14 ORtg: 102.9 (T-19th)
2013-14 DRtg: 106.3 (23rd)
Players in: Deonte Burton, Darren Collison, Wayne Ellington, Eric Moreland, Nik Stauskas, Jeremy Tyler, rights to Alex Oriakhi
Players out: Quicy Acy, Jared Cunningham, Aaron Gray, Travis Outlaw, Isaiah Thomas
Projected Starting Lineup: Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins

Theory: did the Sacramento Kings let point guard Isaiah Thomas walk to their division rival Phoenix Suns because they drafted him thinking he was Pistons legend Isiah Thomas and wanted to cop to their mistake? Because that's the only explanation that makes sense.

With Thomas out the door, the Kings turn to former Clippers backup Darren Collison, apparently figuring, ‘Hey, why not replace an undersized, offense-first point guard who struggles on defense with another worse one?’

Worse, with the eighth pick in a loaded draft class, the Kings took a shooting guard… the position they filled with their 2013 lottery pick. Nik Stauskas might be better than Ben McLemore, but it’s still an odd move, especially when they could’ve picked either point guard Elfrid Payton — an obvious position of need for the team — or power forward Noah Vonleh, who's an instant defensive upgrade over Carl Landry and a better long-term prospect next to DeMarcus Cousins than Jason Thompson.

Instead, their point guard combo is made up of Collison and Ray McCallum Jr., while at shooting guard, they’ve got two super-talented shooters who won’t be able to log big minutes together.

There's plenty of depth in a frontcourt rotation consisting of Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Derrick Williams, Reggie Evans, and $19.3 million worth of Rudy Gay, but all hope of a Kings resurgence after eight playoff-free seasons rests almost exclusively on the broad shoulders of DeMarcus Cousins.

If Cousins rounds out his game to include some vestige of defense (something Mike Malone was brought in specifically to help with) and becomes a leader for the team, rather than a constant distraction, new Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé will feel much better about his $534 million investment. Hopefully Cousins's part with Team USA for the FIBA world championships helps the maturation process; especially considering he has the potential to be the game’s most dominant big man not named Dwight Howard… and he’s only 24.

In the meantime, the Kings will be a young team trying to figure out how to play defense under Malone, all the while trying to figure out how to pass the ball. Collison may help a little with playmaking, but they’ll miss the underrated energy and drive Isaiah Thomas brought to the team, while hoping like hell that the Stauskas/McLemore duo works, and that the Cousins/Gay duo displays more of the promise they had towards the end of last season. If either of the oft-rumoured trades for Rajon Rondo or Josh Smith happen though, their entire outlook changes.

Best Case: Trade for Rondo and Smith and make the playoffs… but more likely, 10th in the west; Cousins, Gay and any sort of improved defense could make the Kings a frisky outsider for a low playoff seed, but the Western conference is populated entirely by hellfire and exploded dreams

Worst Case: Cousins sulks through the season until Reggie Evans puts him in a headlock, and Stauskas is crushed underneath the two of them… and the Kings still end up with only the 9th pick in the 2015 lottery.



Alan Anderson, Marcus Thornton

The Nets beat the Sacramento Kings behind a red-hot Marcus Thornton. (AP)

Hello Walt. I understand if this team is breaking you. But thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. I swear to you that they're not bad. Pick up a shirt at The Brooklyn Game Store and get it cleaned at Lavandería Brillante. Your support keeps us cooking. Thank you!

Here's an early roundup of last night's Nets festivities.
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DeMarcus Cousins

It's a whole new game since the last time these two teams played. (AP)


Brooklyn Nets


Sacramento Kings
30-30 Record 22-40
6-4 Last 10 Games 5-5
102.8 Points scored per 100 possessions 103.9
104.0 Points allowed per 100 possessions 106.4
94.1 Possessions per game 96.8
45.0% Field goal percentage 44.9%
35.9% Three-point percentage 34.1%
47.2% Rebound percentage 51.4%
15.4% Turnover percentage 15.5%
Joe Johnson (15.1) Top Scorer DeMarcus Cousins (22.3)

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Playing Out Of Place

Posted on: November 14th, 2013 by Devin Kharpertian Comments


The Valley

The Valley

It's an odd feeling, returning to a place that no longer belongs to you.... MORE →


DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento Kings

The Brooklyn Nets walk into Sleep Train Arena to take on DeMarcus Cousins & the Sacramento Kings. (AP)

The disappointingly 2-4 Brooklyn Nets begin a three-game West Coast swing tonight against the 1-5 Sacramento Kings, kicking off a game well past their East Coast bedtimes at 10:00 P.M. EST/7:00 Pacific. The Kings, as their record suggests, haven't been very good this season -- or in any season in the past decade -- but they've got a few young weapons that could surprise Brooklyn's big, tall, and aging roster.

Where & When: 10:00 P.M. EST, Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento
Watch: YES Network
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM

Three things to watch tonight after the jump... MORE →

Better Know: Sacramento Kings

Posted on: September 8th, 2013 by Devin Kharpertian Comments


Today's installment of Better Know An Opponent focuses on the Sacramento Kings. Let's take a look.... MORE →


Bobby Marks

Bobby Marks

Would Bobby Marks move across the country for the same job he has now? It's a possibility, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.

Amick reports that Denver Nuggets VP of basketball operations Pete D'Allessandro has been given permission to speak with the Sacramento Kings about their open general manager position, and that there is a "strong chance" Marks, currently the Nets' assistant GM, would join him in Sacramento if hired.

The Kings franchise presents a different challenge from Brooklyn. Sacramento's roster is much younger and more flexible salary-wise than Brooklyn's, with multiple players on small, movable contracts and cap space in this offseason. The biggest names in Sacramento are mercurial center DeMarcus Cousins and guard Tyreke Evans, who has struggled with injuries and development since his Rookie of the Year Award-winning season in 2010.

Or maybe Marks just wants to re-unite with former Nets forward Travis Outlaw, who the Nets used their one-time amnesty clause on one season into a five-year, $35 million deal.

Marks, the longest-tenured Nets employee in the basketball operations department, started with the Nets as an intern in 1995 before getting hired full-time in basketball operations in 1996.

USA TODAY -- Nuggets allow Kings to interview VP for GM job



Grade the Game at any time!

Tonight: The 13-20 Sacramento Kings are in Brooklyn tonight to take on the 18-15 Brooklyn Nets, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7:30 P.M. EST. The Nets are 4-1 in the P.J. Carlesimo era. The Kings have also won four of their last five games.

Watch & Listen: The game is broadcast on YES Network. Ian Eagle & Jim Spanarkel are on the call. The game is radio broadcast on WFAN Radio, and simulcast in Spanish on WADO.

Injuries: Kris Humphries is inactive tonight. C.J. Watson is a game-time decision. The Kings are without Tyreke Evans.

Starting Lineups:
Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Thomas, John Salmons, Francisco Garcia, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins
Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Brook Lopez

Advanced Statistics:
Sacramento Kings: 101.4 offensive rating (15th), 106.4 defensive rating (28th), 94.9 possessions per game (11th)
Brooklyn Nets: 103.1 offensive rating (11th), 103.7 defensive rating (21st), 90.56 possessions per game (29th)

Go Nets!


No rest for the wicked. After taking down the Washington Wizards 117-115 on a Joe Johnson isolation jumper in the Let's Make Devin Revisit His Distant Nail-Biting Addiction Bowl, the Brooklyn Nets take on the Sacramento Kings tonight in Brooklyn. The 13-20 Kings are on a bit of a streak -- they've won four of their last five, riding their enigmatic shooting star center DeMarcus Cousins (19.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, and most impressively, 5.4 assists per game in the streak).

The Kings do have their fair share of problems. They're 3-13 on the road, rank 28th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, and foul a ton -- they give up .305 free throws per field goal attempt (fourth-worst in the league). The Nets should put them away easily, and because of that, I expect another double-overtime game that comes down to the last possession.

Joining me to help figure out what's going on in Sacramento is the excellent Greg Wissinger, associate editor at SB Nation Sacramento Kings site Sactown Royalty. I've asked Greg to answer three questions on the Kings, plus offer a prediction.


Devin: Sacramento is only 13-20, but ranks in the top half of the NBA in offensive efficiency. What would you characterize as their greatest offensive strength? Or is there no strength, rather a balance of a few things?

Greg:... MORE →


Andray Blatche Brooklyn Nets, Thomas Robinson Sacramento Kings

Bench Mob Godfather. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Brooklyn Nets had flat games from their three best players and still won. The Brooklyn Nets had limited minutes and mobility from their fourth-best player, and still won. The Brooklyn Nets were out-rebounded handily, and still won. The Brooklyn Nets got destroyed in the second half by opposing center DeMarcus Cousins, withstood a barrage of rim-rattlers and absurd low-percentage shots going in one rim for Sacramento and out the other for Brooklyn, shot 5-17 from beyond the arc… and still won, and outside of another awkward third-and-beginning-of-fourth quarter, won somewhat handily, with a 99-90 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

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