The Sacramento Kings have just lost their sixth consecutive game of the season, putting their overall record at 1-7. This time, at the hand of the San Antonio Spurs.
The Kings kept the game within three points heading into the fourth quarter, yet it was a series of chaos and turnovers that eventually lead to the tough, 106-88 loss.
DeMarcus Cousins finished the contest with 21 points and 12 rebounds while Marco Belinelli came off the bench to notch 17 points.
For the Spurs, Kawhi Leonard blew up for 21 points with a +/- of 31. Tim Duncan finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds to go along with LaMarcus Aldridge’s 16 point and nine rebound effort.
Down the stretch, the Spurs exasperated the Kings defense and built a lead which they sustained until the end of the game. The Kings not only turned the ball over eight times in the fourth, but the Spurs outscored the Kings 34-19 in the quarter as well. Another instance where Sacramento’s season has been defined by a streak of poor play.
Against the Warriors, it was a 31-point fourth quarter. The game against the Rockets was close and competitive until the Kings failure to defend the three-pointer ultimately lead to their defeat. The Suns worked the Kings in the second half and scored a 37 points in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies held the Kings to 11 in the second quarter and scored 33 in the third. The second half of the Clippers game without Cousins actually featured an incredibly valiant effort where the Kings fell just short of upsetting the Clippers.
Simply five quarters that could have potentially changed the Kings overall record from 1-7 to something closer to 4-4.
The bottom line is this: the Kings are close. They are just on the verge of becoming a nightly competitive team. Playing arguably the most difficult opening schedule in the NBA, the Kings have a lot to walk away with. Somehow, this is no longer the mentality for the young organization. Lead by DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings are already calling players-only meetings in order to refocus and regroup to get back on track. A telling sign for a new team facing adversity for the first time in the season.
“We got some issues, that we gotta carve out, and as players, we gotta stick together,” noted DeMarcus Cousins at his locker after the game. “We got some issues in-house, we gotta figure out,” he continued. “It’ll be a players-only meeting, but to make it clear, I believe in every single person in this room. When those issues are fixed, the winning will come.”
Usually a precursor to another episode in the saga of Kings drama series, this may be a much more optimistic sign for the unit. Never once taking accountability for the losses or the downfall of the organization, the Kings have run out of excuses.
This team is talented. In fact, this team is the most talented team the Kings have ever had in the past decade. Starting the season 1-7 is not okay. Regardless of how close the games have been.
Whether the players are frustrated by having six different starting lineups in the last seven games, with the coach, or simply dropping six-straight at home, something needs to be fixed. There are issues within this team that haven’t been brought to light. Vlade Divac was brought to this organization this summer in order to fix these types of issues. With an assurance behind their coach and their prized big man, the Kings need to most importantly co-exist.
This player’s only meeting is intended to get the team moving in the right direction. With a much easier Eastern Conference road trip coming up, the Kings have a chance to not only correct their season but to fix their psyche.
The Kings look to take on the Detroit Pistons this Wednesday at home to end a six game home stand. Battling with future All-Star, Andre Drummond, the Kings need a bounce back win more than ever.
10:00 PM ET, November 9, 2015
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
SA: K. Leonard 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk
Sac: D. Cousins 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk