Leading Off

Lakers will return to playoffs before Kings

Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive sits at half court as the Kings keep the game close against the Lakers before before winning 102-92 on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive sits at half court as the Kings keep the game close against the Lakers before before winning 102-92 on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. hamezcua@sacbee.com

This, that and the other thing:

▪ Why is it DeMarcus Cousins continues to improve statistically each season, yet the Kings continue to spin their wheels in the muck of mediocrity?

Heading into Wednesday’s season finale against the Lakers, the Kings have 28 victories – the same as the two previous seasons. A victory is very possible against the Lakers, who have lost a franchise-record 60 games with a ragtag roster that seemed to quit when injured Kobe Bryant shut it down in January.

But despite the Lakers scraping the bottom of the Pacific Division, why do we get the feeling they will return to the Western Conference playoffs before the Kings?

▪ The Kings’ front-office executives can’t go back in time and fix its mistakes – and there have been a few – but it makes you wonder how this season might have played out had coach Michael Malone not been fired in December after an 11-13 start or if the Kings had immediately hired George Karl as his replacement, instead of putting Tyrone Corbin in the job for a couple of months?

▪ If Cousins, an All-Star and one of the best centers in the NBA, forward Rudy Gay and point guard Darren Collison had played together all season, the Kings should have won at least 35 games this season – no excuses.

▪ Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha says New York City police officers caused his broken lower leg during last week’s arrest outside a Manhattan nightclub. Perhaps if Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic weren’t at a nightclub known for trouble at 4 a.m., the injury wouldn’t have happened.

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch

NBA, Kings at Lakers, 7:30 p.m., CSNCA: The Kings cross the finish line out of the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.

sacbee.com/sports


On this date

1991: Magic Johnson sets an NBA record for career assists in a 112-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Johnson, who needed nine assists to break Oscar Robertson’s record of 9,887, gets 19.


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