I caught up with Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie this afternoon to get his take on the Kings' 2-8 start.
"I don't think you can avoid, our record isn't what we hoped it would be at this point and the major reason for that is that we've just struggled mightily on offense. The improvements we've made defensively for the most part have been mitigated by not being able to be productive offensively, primarily in the halfcourt."
On if roster changes need to be made:
"I think in the short term you have to give it a little more time. And maybe there are different lineup combinations that will work better, maybe there are different rotations that will work better. But at some point those things have to be open for discussion. I don't think this early in the season any teams are looking to be aggressive and make changes."
On if he has to be more patient with young players:
"To a point. We're still a young team but we're not a totally inexperienced team either. But you're still looking for growth there."
The Kings lack energy to start games.
That's not exactly what a coach wants to hear, but it's something players admit has been a problem lately.
"I just think that everybody we play has more energy than us," said guard Tyreke Evans. "We've got to do a better job of having energy and we'll be good from there."
Said guard Marcus Thornton:
"I don't think we've been playing with a lot of energy the last couple of games, letting teams get out to a good start. And for us we can't have that."
Why do the Kings lack energy?
"I have no idea," Evans said. "We showed against (Brooklyn) how good we can be and how we can play with energy."
Kings coach Keith Smart said he doesn't have a speech to give his players to inspire enthusiasm every night.
"That's not happening in pro sports, you have too many games," Smart said. "It's up to the players to come out of the gate, making plays and making shots to be ready to go to start a basketball game."
The Kings have an acknowledged leadership void they are trying to fill. So Smart said he stays on his point guards to get the rest of the team energized.
"When you have energy and enthusiasm at the one position,(the team is) going to have it because you're going to push the pace of the basketball game," Smart said. "That's why I love watching (Deron) Williams from Brooklyn, the way he plays the game so fast to start a game off and then he settles into and let's his teammates play. And Jason Kidd did that when he was playing (in Dallas) and Steve Nash does that. Those guys understand the tempo of the game starts with them. Not with a big guy, not with a wing player, it starts with them. That's why I try to harp onto those guys the pace of how you play determines a lot in the first quarter....you can't coach energy."
*I've hit the topic of leadership and the Kings a few times. Here's a little more from Smart on the subject:
"A leader will push through but our team has got to push through. It's not so much just one guy. We don't have the one guy that I can say, here's the ball, carry us with 42 points."
"You can count (on a leader) every single night to bring the same level of energy and intensity every single night, then that leadership thing pushes through. Our guys are still trying to feel themselves out in the NBA."
"I think you get the false sense of leadership sometimes. You get the 'I'm scoring so I'm a leader.' Leadership is how you work and how you function every single day. You can lead from any position on the team....you cannot hide a leader."