Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

January 26, 2012
The Morning After: Kings' struggles force Smart to re-evaluate offensive philosophy

Kings coach Keith Smart keeps running into obstacles when it comes to implementing the running style of play he wants with the Kings.

First, there's the overall lack of conditioning of the team. Secondly, injuries have prevented Smart from finding continuity.

Perhaps the most important things is this season, the Kings just can't shoot well.

The Kings began Wednesday's games as the only team shooting under 40 percent for the season (39.4 percent) and 29th out of 30 teams in three-point shooting (26.6 percent).

So Smart is going to slow things down.

"We have to slow it down because one, we're not shooting well and two, we've got to get a positive possession," Smart said. "Something where we're fouled on a very good shot or actually score the basketball. This team can run on opportunities but it may not be to the point where we can get out and do the things we need to do right now."

What makes the change in style more pressing is the Kings have been so bad defensively. The latest example was Wednesday's loss to Denver, 122-93.

The Kings are giving up 102.6 points per game, worst in the NBA.
"We've got to get our defense together," Smart said. "Because if you don't get your defense together and you're playing bad offensively you're not going to have a chance."
That's been the case often this season because the Kings have shot 50 percent or better in a game once this season.

Slowing down the game, however, will test the discipline of a team that hasn't shown that trait consistently on offense.

The Kings will need better ball and player movement than they've shown this season. They need to see each other up instead of trying to get their own shots when things go bad.

But until the Kings are healthy, in shape and start defending better, this might be Smart's best option to give the Kings a chance to win.

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