Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) greats fans before the game against the NBA Champion Miami Heat on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif..


Who is your favorite Kings starter?

Leading Off: Five 2014 resolutions for Kings’ Cousins

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 - 5:55 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 - 6:16 pm

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is having a breakout season – good enough for a spot on the All-Star team, many think – and there’s no question he also has made dramatic strides in controlling his emotions.

But there still are some things he could do to help improve his image with fans, teammates and All-Star voters, so here are five resolutions for the big fella in 2014:

1. No more technicals: Cousins leads the NBA with nine, putting him on pace for 24 this season. If a player reaches 16, it’s a one-game suspension, with additional suspensions for every two technicals the rest of the season.

2. Be a nice guy: We know some fans say nasty things, but Cousins needs to just smile and say “Thank you” when they get under his skin. He’s got a great smile, but fans don’t get to see it often enough.

3. Respect thy teammates: No matter what happens in a game, teammates should support each other; encouraging is always better than berating, and real leaders lead by example. We’d like to hear Cousins say something like: “I need to do a better job on defense and help get everyone involved on offense.”

4. Forget the outside shot: Cousins is doing much better in 2013-14, taking nearly 70 percent of his shots from within 8 feet. But we think he still shoots too much from outside (about 18 percent of his shots are from beyond 16 feet). His shooting percentage is up to nearly 50 percent, but it could be higher with fewer missed jump shots.

5. Dominate both lanes: Cousins has proven there are few players who can defend him, but he can be more consistent on the other end of the court. Like he did in Tuesday’s win over the Rockets, he needs to make sure opponents know they’re taking a risk when they come into his lane.

What to do

NBA, Kings vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m., Sleep Train Arena: Cousins goes up against former Kings center Spencer Hawes.

What to watch

Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Alabama, 5:30 p.m., ESPN : This battle between traditional superpowers could be the best game of the college postseason.

Today’s poll

Who is your favorite Kings starter?

• DeMarcus Cousins

• Rudy Gay

• Ben McLemore

• Isaiah Thomas

• Jason Thompson

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday’s results

Which would you like

to see happen in 2014?

• NFL halts Pro Bowl: 33%

• N.L. adopts DH: 13%

• NBA raises rims: 11%

• Madden, Gruden restore Raiders’ “Commitment to Excellence:” 30%

• NFL bans alcohol

sales: 13%

Total votes: 133

Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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