Kings players were griping at each other and officials during their latest loss, a 113-103 defeat to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Kings aren’t at the point where I’d say it’s a crisis in the locker room, but the frustration on the court was evident as a team on a five-game losing streak had its way with the Kings.
Said Kings coach Michael Malone:
“This is what losing does. You start to get frustrated with each other—and that’s our biggest challenge, aside from our defense. Our chemistry and our camaraderie aren’t working. We can’t fall apart because we will start fraying at the seams. If that happens, then we will have no chance. One of my biggest challenges as a head coach is to keep this team together. Even though it has been disappointing so far, we need to stay together. We’ll continue to do that—I’ll make sure of it.”
Malone on the players talking to officials too much:
“A lot of times when you lose, the toughest person to look at is the man in the mirror. You want to blame your teammates or maybe the officials. I can’t say that I always disagree with our players when they gripe about calls. We just need to be mentally tough. We had a mini stretch of playing three games at a high level and played two games against two teams that we should’ve been able to beat at home. We have Portland coming in here on Tuesday—they’re a very good team. We have two days to get ready for that game and try to figure this all out.”
Jason Thompson said what you might see happen on the court is no big deal:
“Young guys, guys trying to be leaders and stuff like that is going to happen ... that’s going to happen when you lose. If anything I think it was more frustration than guys going at each other.”
*The Bobcats are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA, but you wouldn’t have known that watching them play against the Kings.
“That was one of our best offensive games,” said Charlotte coach Steve Clifford. “We had balance. We had a bunch of three’s but it was good in our post-up game and our pick-and-roll game was good. A lot of stuff we did five-man stuff was good. It was a good balance but again we had guys Kemba (Walker) had a great night, Al (Jefferson) played very well and we had good play off the bench.”
*I blogged pregame about the Kings not having the luxury of overlooking teams with losing records. But once again, there was talk about not playing down to the level of the competition.
Someone should remind the Kings they are 10-22, they are the down competition in the NBA.
*I detailed all the offensive highlights from the Bobcats in the game story. Pretty bad showing defensively from the Kings, to say the least.