Kings coach George Karl believes good teams have at least 10 wins in a month more than once in a season.
The Kings fell short in January, but going 8-7 was step in the right direction, Karl said. And it’s a reason Karl was optimistic as the Kings prepared to host the Chicago Bulls Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena.
“I think January was a pretty good month for us,” Karl said. “It was a winning month; wish it would have been a little more winning. But starting with a winning month is a good start. We need probably three more winning months.”
Karl also remains upbeat because since beginning the season 1-7, the Kings were 20-20 entering Wednesday.
“If that’s what you told me at the beginning of the year we’d be (playing .500 basketball), I’d probably say I’m OK with that,” Karl said. “I’d like to be better.”
The Kings ended their four-game losing streak by defeating Milwaukee on Monday to start February. The Kings begin a four-game trip Friday against Brooklyn.
Though the Kings are still outside the top eight in the Western Conference, they know they still have time to make a playoff push..
Sacramento began Wednesday in 10th place, two games behind Portland for eighth.
“There’s a lot of optimism to this basketball team right now,” Karl said. “There’s a lot of confidence in that locker room, a lot more than it was last year.”
The good vibes are nice, but the reality is the Kings have to improve down the stretch of the season if they are to play in the postseason.
That’s something Karl acknowledges.
“We’re not an established playoff team,” Karl said. “We think we’ve got a lot of work to do, and it’s going to be a great run, hopefully, and we’re going to play games in March and April that matter – and today they matter.”
All-Star honors – Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was presented with an All-Star Game jersey to commemorate his being named to the team as a reserve last week.
It’s the second consecutive year Cousins has made the team.
As of now, Cousins is the only King who will be a part of All-Star Weekend. He’s also competing in the Skills Challenge.
Omri Casspi is still waiting to be told if he’s in the three-point shooting contest.
Casspi entered Wednesday shooting 43.7 percent on threes, tied for fifth in the NBA.
Sticking with Marco – Marco Belinelli made his second straight start at shooting guard Wednesday.
Belinelli started Monday because Ben McLemore missed the game because of a sprained right wrist. McLemore returned to the lineup Wednesday but came off the bench.
Belinelli scored 18 points Monday, 10 coming in the fourth quarter. He still wasn’t satisfied with his shooting as he was 5 for 15 against the Bucks.