SACRAMENTO -- Where do the Sacramento Kings go from here? After losing to the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 on Wednesday evening, the Kings have now lost an incredible seven straight games on their home floor and sit at just 14-20 at Sleep Train Arena in its farewell season.
There is no rhyme or reason for this trend. Fans have shown up in droves to say goodbye to the building formerly known as Arco Arena. They have cheered on their team, even when things are coming completely undone. But lately, the fans have also turned to boos, and rightly so.
“I can’t figure that one out,” DeMarcus Cousins said when asked about the team’s home record.
It’s a conundrum. This team has talent, but they are lacking something else. Heart? Professionalism? Pride? Whatever it is, it is shocking to watch a team fold up shop and take the second half of the season off.
“It’s hard for me to put a finger on,” George Karl said when asked about his team’s record at home. “The thing that comes in my head is that we try to outscore people and we don’t try to be tough-minded, physical, aggressive team, even though that’s not our personality.”
What exactly the personality of this team has been debated ad nauseum. What we do know is that they certainly aren’t a defensive team.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Kings crushed by Pelicans at home]
Sacramento-native Ryan Anderson ran through them like a hot knife through butter, dropping in 21 points in the second quarter on his way to a game-high 29. The Kings had no answer for the 6-foot-10 forward. In fact, they didn’t even make an adjustment, unless you consider switching at every screen until undersized players were defending one of the league’s best stretch fours.
“Ryan Anderson - kills us everytime,” Cousins said.
Whether it was Anderson or Anthony Davis or Jrue Holiday, the Kings put up very little resistance. Sacramento allowed the Pelicans to shoot 54.4 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from long range. New Orleans averages 102.8 points per game on the season and they had already posted 74 on the Kings by halftime.
To add insult to injury, the Pelicans signed point guard Tim Frasier out of the D-League early Wednesday and even he managed to drop in a career-high 14 points and nine assists in 27 minutes.
“He got here at 11:30 this morning so he didn’t know a whole lot,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We gave him an iPad with just basic plays on it and I talked to him in pregame to try and get him through some of the stuff that we try to do.”
How do you allow a player that has never played with a single one of his teammates and who didn’t even know the full playbook to run circles around you?
There were very few bright spots for the Kings. Darren Collison continued to show that he hasn’t cashed it in this season. The veteran guard scored 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting starting for the injured Rajon Rondo.
“I’m trying my best, I’m trying to do everything I can,” Collison said. “It’s tough, you know what I mean, because it’s not what I expected this year for this team.”
James Anderson started at the shooting guard spot and came away with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Anderson had played a total of nine minutes over the previous seven games, including six DNP-CDs.
Cousins added 20 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 34 minutes and Omri Casspi chipped in 12 points and six rebounds in the loss.
The Kings are now 26-41 on the season and they now get to head out on the road for a four-game Eastern swing. It’s a little late to find an identity, but hopefully they can figure out a way to compete down the stretch in another lost season.