Coming off of Tyreke Evans' impressive rookie year and the selection of DeMarcus Cousins in the 2010 NBA Entry Draft, many figured the Kings had the potential to take a step forward towards relevance. Unfortunately a number of injuries, the incompetence of Paul Westphal, and the severe regression (more on this later) of Tyreke Evans, made for another disappointing season.
Offensive Rating - 103.5 (25th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage - 48% (26th)
Turnover Percentage - 14.4% (26th)
Offensive Rebounding Percentage - 29.9% (1st)
Free Throw Ratio - 20.8% (28th)
The first thing that jumps out at me is the huge gap in their performance across the various metrics. Sacramento was 1st in the league in Offensive Rebounding but in the bottom 5 in everything else. This has been said for some of the league's other poor offenses, but Sacramento's ability to crash the offensive glass saved them from a historically bad offense.
Much like the teams in the bottom 5, Sacramento's main problems came from their inability to score the ball efficiently. Sacramento's two highest usage players were Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Neither of these two players scored the ball well. The two players had the same eFG of 43.2%, a terrible number for anybody, but especially for players tasked with leading an offense. Marcus Thornton was quite good offensively in his time with the team, but that was only in 1000 minutes, so his relative efficiency was but a drop in the bucket. Beno Udrih also had an impressive year offensively, but his usage was incredibly low.
This leaves Evans and Cousins as the key culprits in both shooting the ball and protecting the ball. Cousins featured an 18.5% turnover percentage, and Evans a 14.9% mark. This did well to seal the team's fate as a group that struggled in protecting the basketball, and low turnover numbers from players like Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, Marcus Thornton, Omri Casspi and Carl Landry was not able to offset the damage done by Evans and Cousins.
The team's only bright spot offensively was its ability to crash the offensive glass. Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry, and DeMarcus Cousins (his only bright spot) all had double digit OREB%. As I mentioned earlier, this saved them from a historically bad offense.
Getting to the line with any consistency was also a major issue for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 5 trips to the line per game. Their other leaders were Carl Landry (4.1 attempts), Marcus Thornton (4.4 attempts) and Tyreke Evans (4.7 attempts). Other than these three, no rotation player got to the line more than 3 times every game.
Sacramento experienced a perfect storm of offensive incompetence. The combination of poor shooting, a high turnover rate, and an inability to get to the line cemented their fate as offensive cellar dwellers. Even with the selection of Jimmer Fredette and the acquisition of John Salmons, this team will need massive improvements from both Evans and Cousins to show any sign of respectability.