Coach Dave Joerger strongly believes Sacramento’s commitment to youth this season will pay off down the line in helping develop the Kings into a playoff contender.
How soon that happens remains an open question.
”It can be frustrating because we’re a society that wants a quick change and we want it right now Leonard Fournette Jersey ,” Joerger said after the final game of his second season in Sacramento. ”It just takes time together to get that chemistry. We all want it to happen as fast as possible and we’re doing everything we can for that.”
The Kings took a step back in the standings this season, winning five fewer games on the way to a 27-55 record that left them out of the playoffs for the 12th straight season, the longest active drought in the NBA.
But with most of Sacramento’s key players age 25 or younger, there might be some reason for optimism for a franchise that seems to be in perpetual rebuilding mode.
”They’ve seen enough to know how to react now,” veteran Vince Carter said. ”They have a legitimate chance to contend. The challenge now is learning how to sustain leads. That’s the next part.”
The Kings are looking to build a pair of rookie guards in last year’s first-round pick De’Aaron Fox and European import Bogdan Bogdanovic. Each showed good flashes at times throughout the season and improved as they got more responsibility when Joerger turned things over to the youth movement.
”Just be ready to take on a load,” Fox said about his next step. ”I came off the bench, was able to feel out games and it just kind of molded me into a starting point guard. Next year, I just have to be more efficient, just elevate my game.”
Guards Buddy Hield and Frank Mason III, swingman Justin Jackson and big men Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere also got significant playing time as the Kings try to finding building blocks to turn the franchise around.
Sacramento went 9-12 after the start of March in what the team hopes is a good sign for the future.
Here are some other takeaways from the season and the upcoming offseason:
Sacramento enters the draft with the sixth-best chance at winning the top pick. This will be a key draft for the Kings, who don’t have a first-round pick in 2019 because of previous deals. With top free agents hesitant to sign with a struggling franchise, Sacramento needs to find impact players in the draft in order to rebuild.
WAITING FOR GILES
The Kings have high hopes for forward Harry Giles, who sat out his rookie season rehabbing a knee injury. Sacramento acquired Giles in a draft day deal but held him out of games all year in order to strengthen his knee. Giles was one of the top recruits coming out of high school before injuring his knee as a senior. He played one year at Duke, starting just six games DJ Chark Jersey , but has impressed Kings officials in workouts this season.
The most notable part of another losing season in Sacramento surrounded the protests of a police shooting and the Kings’ reaction to it. Protesters kept most fans from entering the arena for two games following the March 18 fatal shooting by police of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed black man. Kings players and owners supported the protesters and partnered with local groups to create a multiyear partnership that supports education, workforce preparation and economic development efforts in the community.
ONE MORE YEAR
Carter plans to come back for one more season, whether it’s in Sacramento or somewhere else. Carter, who turns 42 next January, is eligible to become a free agent this summer and wants to play a 21st season in the NBA. Carter averaged 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in his one season with the Kings.
”Every day I want to be here, I want to play this game,” Carter said. ”I enjoy this league and I enjoy this game so much. I want to be able to play and be able to compete with younger guys.”
No, Vance Joseph never felt as if he was drinking out of a firehose when the Denver Broncos stumbled through a 5-11 season in his first year as head coach last year.
That's how general manager John Elway has repeatedly described what it must have been like for a first-year head coach in the NFL.
"That's not my personality, so I didn't feel that way," Joseph told The Associated Press. "My focus was purely on trying to flip it and get us back on a winning path. I think being a young head coach and being a young coach is a different deal. I'm not a young coach. I've been a part of teams that have gone through adversity so I kind of knew what the issues were."
A sieve of an offensive line.
Locker room rifts.
A lack of chemistry, the byproduct of another protracted quarterback competition.
Still, "I think overwhelmed, that's not the word Nick O'Leary Jersey ," Joseph said.
Denver's dive, which included eight losses by double digits, was a shock to a city and a franchise that had a ticker-tape parade just two years earlier, and Elway acknowledged that he pondered firing Joseph at season's end.
"That's the direction I want to go, but it's my responsibility to think about other options to see what would be best for the football team," Elway said in January. "We thought about different options, but ultimately, my goal was to stick with Vance and give him that shot."
Elway, who had riled up his players by calling them soft during an eight-game skid, said he shared in the blame for Joseph's deficient debut and needed to surround him with better personnel.
Joseph replaced nearly half of his coaching staff while Elway embarked on a massive roster upgrade .
He signed quarterback Case Keenum in free agency and all 10 members of his ballyhooed 2018 draft class spent four years in college and most were captains. That's a far cry from the previous two classes that were loaded with raw athleticism, long-term projects and plenty of question marks.
Joseph seems much more comfortable in his second season.
"I don't see it as a do-over. It's hard in this league. You don't get do-overs, unfortunately. But it's a new year and obviously last year wasn't good enough," Joseph said.
The hands-off philosophy Joseph brought to Denver last year has vanished.
"I think it's a fine line between micromanaging and coaching coaches. And I didn't want to ever be micromanaged as an assistant coach because in my mind I was doing the best I could for that head coach and the best I could for that football team. And I took great pride in coaching my guys and being the best group on the field every day in the meeting rooms or on the field," Joseph said.
"So Aaron Lynch Jersey , in my mind every coach would feel that way and every coach would want to coach that way. So, I was cautious in interrupting coaches' drills, interrupting coaches' ways of doing things because I had an experienced staff."
That led to the notion that Joseph was still acting like an assistant coach last year while offensive coordinator Mike McCoy continued operating as though he were still a head coach before getting fired at midseason.
Joseph vehemently denies that was the case.
"I thought Mike did a great job every week of accepting his role and we talked every week about the game plan, so that's not true," Joseph said.
"I worked for a lot of coaches who didn't micromanage me, Gary Kubiak, Marvin Lewis, great guys who have won a lot of games. So, that's not true. Our staff last year we discussed every game plan that we put forward and again it was the best thing for our players at the time.
"So, our thought process early on was to be an explosive offense. We were 3-1. It wasn't perfect. But it was working. Now, turning the ball over, not protecting the quarterback, those things affected how we played on offense. But not Mike trying to be in total control, that's not true."
Still Corey Moore Jersey , Joseph said he has to coach his coaches better, and by that, he means challenging them.
"I don't coach the receivers, I don't coach the running backs or offensive line. I'm a defensive backs guy, I'm a defensive guy. So, I think asking the right questions and triggering more thought process on how we can do things better. Or simply seeing it differently than the coach and saying, 'Why don't we do it that way?'" Joseph said.
"Now, I can be wrong, but I think simply asking more questions is a simple way of helping the coaches get better and helping our football team get better and not letting anything slide."
Joseph realizes he won't get another chance if things don't change.
"Winning football games is a must this year," he said. "We have to do that. That's why they hired me."
And why Elway stuck with him.
Mikal Bridges Jersey ,
1 post • Page 1 of 1