Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Pregame notes: Kings still confident in struggling McLemore

12/17/2013 3:28 PM

12/17/2013 3:47 PM

Kings guard Ben McLemore won Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors for November, but December hasn’t been kind to him.

McLemore is shooting 30.3 percent in December, including 4-for-25 in his last four games.

The Kings, however, haven’t lost faith in their first-round draft pick.

“He’s been struggling a little lately,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “I don’t want him getting down on himself.”

McLemore should have better looks at the basket playing off Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. Malone said the Kings also “try to get him some easy looks” by getting McLemore out in transition.

It doesn’t help that McLemore has drawn some tough defensive assignments lately, including Monta Ellis, Eric Bledsoe and James Harden.

“He’s got to obviously play better defense at times, but he’s going to fine,” Malone said. “He’s a work in progress, he’s young. He only played one year in college, and we feel he’s got a bright, bright future, and he’s gotten a lot better just in the short time from summer league until now.”

Prediction time: The Kings have fared well here, winning the last two games against the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Bobcats are a good defensive unit, but the Kings should be able to produce enough to edge the Bobcats.

Predicted final: Kings 97, Bobcats 92

My record: 13-9

About This Blog

Jason Jones, who joined The Sacramento Bee in 2002, has covered the Kings since 2008. Jones, a UC Berkeley graduate, also has covered high school sports, the Oakland Raiders and the Sacramento Monarchs for The Bee. Contact him at Twitter: @mr_jasonjones

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