This was, all things considered, a pretty important game for this team if you are hoping for better improved play over the long term. There were some positive signs, some negative things (too many turnovers) and the reality that Miami just wasn't very good last night.
All these things happen. But, something else happened last night that needs to be remembered: The Kings held Miami to an ORtg (or their DRtg) of under 100 for only the 7th time this season. That's right, 7 opponents of the Kings have been held to sub 100 ORtg's for a game. Denver on opening night, against Brooklyn, at Utah, against Dallas, against Houston, at Charlotte, and against Miami last night. Well this is according to Basketball Reference.com anyway.We'll see how NBA.com scores it. Which is to say, they don't have advanced box scores that I can find as of now. No matter, NBA.com scores the DRtg at 106.2 and the ORtg at 102.3 for the season (B-Ref has the Kings at a 108.8 DRtg and 104.9 ORtg so as you can see the differences are essentially the same on both ends).
Notice a common theme? The Kings are holding teams either below or well below their normal ORtg's, but have only done so 7 times.
There could be good things coming down the pike long term if Malone is able to convince these guys to continue to defend at a higher level than they have for the season to date, and realistically over the last few seasons with prior rosters. That alone will result in more wins. This team's DRtg might only experience an uptick to somewhere in the overall 25 ranking by the end of the season, but that's an improvement given where this team started and with the personnel changes they have made during the season.
Now onto the stuff after the jump.....no comments