Ideally, Marco Belinelli is a featured scorer off the Kings’ bench.
Lately, that hasn’t happening because the veteran guard has been in a shooting slump.
Entering Tuesday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Belinelli was shooting 28.7 percent in his last 10 games. For the season, he is shooting 38.4 percent, including 31.2 percent from three-point range. Both percentages are on pace for career lows for the nine-year veteran.
Coach George Karl said not only must Belinelli find his shooting touch, the Kings need to get Belinelli more good looks. On Tuesday, he made 4 of 8 shots, including 2 of 4 from three-point range for 14 points in his most effective game in weeks. He added four assists and three rebounds in the Kings’ 112-97 loss.
Belinelli is attempting 9.4 shots per game, the second most of his career. He should receive ample opportunity to get on track because he often plays more than starting shooting guard Ben McLemore.
“I’ve always wanted to try to get Marco more catch-and-shoot shots rather than pindown shots or motion shots where his body is moving a little bit,” Karl said. “I think he’s in a little bit of a slump, and I think we’re not getting him the ball as well as we need to.”
It definitely looked like a triple pivot to me, but it happens a lot in the game. Players will add a fluidity to it and referees don’t seem to call it.
Kings coach George Karl, on Troy Daniels’ traveling violation before his decisive three-pointer Monday
Belinelli is shooting 39.6 percent in catch-and-shoot situations and 28.4 percent on pull-up shots.
Officiating – The NBA said officials missed a traveling call on Troy Daniels’ winning three-pointer for the Charlotte Hornets against the Kings on Monday.
In the closing seconds of the second overtime, Daniels caught the ball and took at least four steps to set his feet as the Kings watched him unexpectedly launch from 27 feet. His eighth three-pointer gave him a career-high 28 points and the Hornets a 129-128 win.
Karl didn’t appear to be bothered by the noncall Tuesday. He noted when he coached the Seattle SuperSonics, one of his best players was adept at three-point positioning.
“Sam Perkins was really good at taking three or four steps to get behind the three-point line,” Karl said.
As for Daniels’ extra steps, Karl said it’s not uncommon for players to get away with them.
“It definitely looked like a triple pivot to me, but it happens a lot in the game,” Karl said. “Players will add a fluidity to it and referees don’t seem to call it.”
Gay sidelined – For the third time in four games, the Kings were without Rudy Gay on Tuesday.
Gay missed two games because of a left heel contusion, then suffered a corneal abrasion to his left eye in the second overtime Monday, when he scored 20 points.
Karl hopes Gay can return on this trip. The Kings visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday and the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Oops – The NBA corrected a statistic from the Kings’ win over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 21.
Rajon Rondo was credited with a rebound that should have been given to DeMarcus Cousins. Losing that rebound left Rondo with 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds – not a triple double.
9.4 Shot attempts per game by Marco Belinelli, the second most of his career
Rondo has five triple doubles, tying Chris Webber for most in a season in Sacramento history.