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Kings need movement to generate better scoring opportunities

The Kings can fall into the trap of watching DeMarcus Cousins play offense, and a lack of ball movement isn’t helping the offense. ... Cousins looks on during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in Salt Lake City.
The Kings can fall into the trap of watching DeMarcus Cousins play offense, and a lack of ball movement isn’t helping the offense. ... Cousins looks on during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in Salt Lake City. The Associated Press

The Kings have discussed the danger of a stagnant offense for months, but the problem persists.

More talk about the need for player movement followed the Kings’ 99-79 loss to Dallas on Sunday. The Kings can fall into the trap of watching DeMarcus Cousins with the ball, and he has controlled it even more during Rudy Gay’s three-game absence because of a strained right hip flexor.

101.5 Kings’ scoring average, 22nd in the league

That means the offense runs through Cousins, who made 12 of 24 shots and had 33 points Sunday. But the rest of the Kings often were spectators, making them easier to defend.

Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins talks to media following the Kings latest loss in Dallas on Sunday, December 18, 2016. The Kings offense struggled throughtout the night due to another slow start, resulting in a double digit deficit at ha

The Kings also missed many open shots in scoring a season low. The offense has struggled all season and ranks among or near the bottom third of the league in multiple categories.

Sacramento is averaging 101.5 points, 22nd entering Monday, and shooting 44.2 percent, 20th in the league. The Kings also are shooting 34.0 percent from 3-point range (tied for 20th) and averaging 21.8 assists (19th) and 1.20 points per shot (tied for 19th).

Cousins said opposing defenses aren’t causing the Kings’ standstill.

“No, I think you can always get movement,” he said. “We may get a cut and it may not come to you, but it might open up for the next guy. Then give up the first shot, the first open 3, to get in the lane and get an even better look.”

And the movement must be constant.

21.8 Kings’ assist average, 19th in the league

“The movement, it doesn’t happen necessarily to get us to score,” Cousins said. “Obviously, on the first cut or the second cut, we might not score, but it makes it easy for the next guy on the weak side. I think the movement made it easier for our offense.”

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger talks to the media in a postgame interview following the Kings loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, December 18, 2016 in Dallas.

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