Offensive harmony with isolation players is possible, even when the lineup is loaded with them.
Kings coach Dave Joerger continued to promote that notion entering Monday night’s game against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center.
In their previous four games, the Kings had at least 24 assists and went 3-1. Overall, Sacramento was 6-2 when it had least 24 assists. So sharing the ball has made a big difference.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay carry most of the scoring responsibility. Still, Joerger wants all his starters to be engaged offensively to begin games.
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I’ve started five different lineups the last five games. So I’m very unpredictable.
Dave Joerger, Kings coach
“My preference would be to run some equal-opportunity offense, get some movement, get everybody involved in the game,” Joerger said. “Bringing our second unit is a bundle of energy; they’ve been fantastic for us. We play a little quicker with that group, and so then go from there and try to mesh the two together at some point.”
Along with Gay and Cousins, Joerger said Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo can be effective in one-on-one situations, but the coach still wants consistent ball movement.
“There’s got to be a trust factor,” Joerger said. “Four of those guys are really good with the basketball in their hands and very good isolation players ... It’s a synergistic deal.”
Back-to-back – The Kings started the same lineup for the second consecutive game after changing it in each of the previous five games.
Joerger stayed with the big frontcourt of Cousins, Gay and Kosta Koufos and a backcourt of Collison and Afflalo. The coach also has switched it up at halftime, starting a different lineup in the second half.
“I try to play guys, try to give them a chance to be successful and then get in the second half with the matchups, who’s feeling good,” Joerger said. “And you also have the dynamic of trying to play Rudy or DeMarcus as much as possible so that one of them is always on the floor, so there’s a lot of variables that go into it.”
My preference would be to run some equal-opportunity offense (with the starting lineup), get some movement, get everybody involved in the game. Bringing our second unit is a bundle of energy; they’ve been fantastic for us. We play a little quicker with that group, and so then go from there and try to mesh the two together at some point.
Dave Joerger, Kings coach
Lawson off the bench – Joerger was asked if he would keep Ty Lawson with the second unit.
In two games as a reserve entering Monday, Lawson was shooting 57.1 percent and averaging 10.5 points. His game flows better with the second unit, which plays faster and more freely.
Joerger, however, won’t tip his hand.
“I’ve started five different lineups the last five games,” he said, grinning. “So I’m very unpredictable.”