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

February 23, 2013
The Morning After: Salmons says youth can no longer be an excuse

ATLANTA - The Kings have pointed to their youth for some of the mistakes they repeatedly make in games.

But that excuse is old.

The Kings latest loss, 122-108, to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, was filled with many of the usual mishaps that have led to a 19-37 record.

The Kings know selfish play on offense and bad defense will lead to losses. But the Kings continue to repeat these mistakes.

At least one veteran says it's time to start using youth to excuse bad basketball.

"The whole league is young at this point," said forward John Salmons. "We had the youngest MVP ever (Derrick Rose) a couple years ago. We've got Kevin Durant, (Russell) Westbrook, James Harden in the championship (last season). So the young stuff, the young thing is not really an excuse anymore. It's time to grow up and be a team.

Exactly how young are the Kings? There are no rookies on the roster after Thomas Robinson was traded. Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette are in their second seasons.

Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton are both in their fourth seasons. DeMarcus Cousins is in his third season.

But the Kings have not matured in their approach to the game.

Offense is what makes them happy. And only when the offense is going well do the Kings seem to take an interest in playing defense.

"With this team we're too focused on offense, too much on one-on-one play," Salmons said. "We don't move the ball on a consistent basis and then on the defensive end we let teams get run outs, transition points. It's hard for us to get stops in halfcourt sets because we focus on the offense so much."

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