DeMarcus Cousins is on his sixth head coach with the Kings.
The Kings’ All-Star was asked after Sacramento’s 113-94 win over the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena what were some of the positives about his latest coach, Dave Joerger.
The answer was funny and honest.
“I like him and he likes me,” Cousins said.
Following last season’s saga with George Karl as coach, much attention will be paid to the relationship between Joerger and Cousins.
So far, so good.
“Joerger’s been great,” Cousins said. “I think what he brought to the team is what this team needed. It fits our identity more than how we played in the past. Not to knock any of the previous situations but I think this situation fits this team the best.”
Cousins said last week he likes that’s there’s no gray area with Joerger. He makes everything plain and clear and that’s a plus.
Joerger said he hasn’t done anything out of character to try to connect with Cousins.
“I didn’t really do anything special other than try to be yourself,” Joerger said. “I think if you try to be somebody else that’s always a problem. Players can always see right through that so just be yourself, what you’re trying to do, how we’re trying to build it for the future of our team this season and going out for future years.”
Watching the guard — The Kings routinely gave up big nights to opposing guards last season.
That wasn’t the case Wednesday. Devin Booker had 18 points, but seven of those came in the fourth quarter and the Kings had the game in hand. Eric Bledsoe had 16 points and Brandon Knight came off the bench to score seven points.
“Our main focus was to make sure they always saw a crowd,” Cousins said. “Bledsoe and Booker like to operate in a lot of space so just make sure we kept a crowd around them.”
Joerger praised Ty Lawson’s defensive effort, too.
“I thought Ty did a real nice job on Bledsoe,” Joerger said. “It’s kind of speed on speed. We did a nice job as a team though, really with our bigs helping out … When Bledsoe’s coming at you 100 mph he’s really hard to guard.”
Numbers watch — Rudy Gay isn’t always a favorite of the analytics/numbers crowd, but he had a plus/minus of plus-26, the best for the game.
The second-best plus/minus belonged to Ben McLemore with a plus-21.
McLemore was key to the 16-1 run in the first quarter that gave the Kings a 30-19 lead and allowed them to take control of the game. Ben scored all six of his points in the first quarter.