Kings Blog and Q&A

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

November 16, 2012
Kings vs. Hawks: Five things to watch

Keith Smart gave his players their shooting statistics Thursday and asked each player to go their strengths and stay away from their weaknesses. Smart said they all agreed to do so.

With that in mind, here are five areas of the floor five Kings need to go to or avoid to keep their word (thanks to

Smart wants to see his players get their offense going by getting near the basket and the statistics show why.

1. DeMarcus Cousins: Here's the case for Cousins playing near the basket: He is shooting 59.2 percent (29 of 49) from five feet and closer. He's shooting 26.9 percent (14 of 52) from everywhere else on the floor.

2. Tyreke Evans: He's shooting 56.3 percent in the restricted area, but the mid range game (6 of 24, 25 percent) is lacking.

3. Marcus Thornton: He's more proficient near the rim than Cousins (25 of 38, 65.8 percent). On the perimeter Thornton has made 2 of 6 corner three pointers. That might be the spot to find Thornton to get him rolling from the perimeter. Playing Thornton with Chuck Hayes wouldn't hurt, either. Hayes has assisted on 10 of Thornton's shots makes this season.

4. Jimmer Fredette: He's not the biggest guard, but Fredette can score in the paint when he relies on pull ups and floaters. Fredette has made 8 of 11 shots in the paint outside of the restricted area (72.7 percent). He's also made 6 of 9 midrange shots (66.7 percent).

5. James Johnson: Johnson attacking the rim was a positive to come out of Tuesday's loss to Portland. Johnson is shooting 3 of 18 from midrange and has missed all seven of his three pointers. Johnson is shooting 61.5 percent (16 of 26) near the rim. Johnson has made 20 shots this season with only two makes from 20 feet or beyond.

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