Kings Blog

December 17, 2013

Pregame notes: Kings still confident in struggling McLemore

Rookie is struggling with his shot and defense but coach Michael Malone still sees improvement.

Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

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

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