Jan 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Sacramento Kings small forward Rudy Gay (8) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Kings won 111-108. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings: Looking Down at the Lakers

The Sacramento Kings finally can look down at the Los Angeles Lakers, for the first time in a long time the Kings are ahead of the Lakers in the standings. Wednesday’s win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Lakers loss to the Phoenix Suns on the same night allowed the Kings to move ahead by .019 percentage points.

Furthermore, the Lakers are going to get worse as the season continues forward, with all the injuries and the soon to be traded Pau Gasol. In addition, the Kings seem to be headed in the right direction. They have won four of five games, including a big road win in Minnesota.

They have the best center in the league, DeMarcus Cousins, who leads all centers in points at 23.4 points per game. And they have one of the best young point guards in the league in Isaiah Thomas, who averages 19.2 points and 6.1 assists. Thomas also shoots 41% from three, and he shoots 46% from the field, which is the highest among the top five scoring point guards.

Furthermore, since the Kings traded for Rudy Gay, he has been great averaging 20.8 points on 53% shooting. Again with all these reasons the Kings seem to be trending upward and the Lakers are trending downward with a six game losing streak. For Kings Fans they finally can look forward to some good basketball for the first time in a very long time.

The Bench

Jan 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Derrick Williams (13) shoots the ball in the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Kings traded for Gay, they also got two other players Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, which were looked at as throw ins. However, they have provided a ton of spark off the bench, especially Acy. He has been the spur that the Kings needed to get the bench going in the right directions. Now the bench is playing well and helping the Kings win games.

Derrick Williams has been playing great off the bench, in the last five games he is averaging 13.2 points on 57% shooting. Furthermore, when Jimmer Fredette gets minutes off the bench, he has been playing better of late, with many games in double digits. However, Fredette’s minutes have been up and down all year, but Coach Malone needs to find some consistent minutes for Jimmer, and the other players off the bench.

Shooting Guard

The main issue right now, besides the defense, is the shooting guard position. Between Marcus Thornton and Ben McLemore the Kings need to find someone who can score a little more.

At the beginning of the year Thornton was starting and then Malone made a change to McLemore who could not keep the starting spot with his play, and now Thornton is starting again. However, Thornton is not playing well enough to keep the starting spot at this point. In the last five games he is averaging 3.6 points while shooting 24%. But again McLemore is not doing any better with the same 3.6 points average over the last five games, and shot 27% in the process.

The Kings need to find an answer for the shooting guard position, and they might have an answer. During the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves game the Kings played Gay and Williams together. I believe this is the answer to the shooting guard problem, the Kings need to play Williams and Gay together.

Tags: Sacramento Kings

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