With a new defensive-minded head coach, the Sacramento Kings are hoping to halt their 10-year playoff drought, but they continue to struggle, especially on the defensive end. However, our guest, Morgan Ragan, host of The Deuce and Mo Podcast, SacramentoKings.com contributor and local Sacramento reporter, explains why coach Dave Joerger should be afforded job security unlike many of his Kings predecessors. Other topics covered in the episode include how to guard DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay's future in Sacramento, the front office's perpetual draft blunders and what the team needs from the point guard position. Enjoy some selected excerpts from the interview below:
6:55 - 7:23: Ragan starts by asserting that the Kings' center is better suited for a situation in which he’s no longer the franchise cornerstone: "He gets away with a lot of stuff...because he's DeMarcus Cousins. He's the best player on the team. He's the one producing the most points, the most rebounds. So if he wasn't that guy and didn't have that power, he would be even better somewhere else."
8:19 - 9:01: Next, Ragan laments this season’s regression in Willie Cauley-Stein's game, an all-too-common occurrence for Sacramento’s first-round picks: "With Willie Cauley-Stein, you look at him in George Karl's system, when he was actually playing, when there wasn't that drama, there was something about that scrappy, fast-paced offense that really worked for him...Now this year, seeing him get the ball 10 feet out and have to do a little post move, he doesn't have that in him offensively. And his confidence level too...He doesn't look to attack. He's not much of a threat."
17:20 - 18:20: However, on the bright side, there has been first-year Kings head coach Dave Joerger: "How many times have we had to bash Dave Joerger this season? Not as much as we have in the past with George Karl and even Mike Malone...With Dave Joerger, there are not a lot of bad things to say about him right now. We're not hearing about any fights between him and DeMarcus, which is sad [that people use that as a barometer]. And we're not mad at him because he doesn't have the right pieces on defense. And he has that defensive mind that we like. I do see Dave Joerger coaching out his (four-year) contract. That's one of the more positive things out here in Sacramento."
22:11 - 22:26: Ragan tells us that Rudy Gay should opt out of his contract this offseason, but that the Kings should not give him the opportunity: "This season, I do not see this team going to the playoffs. That is ultimately fair to say from what we've seen. That's why if you can get pieces for Rudy Gay before he walks, that's what the Kings should do."
25:00 - 25:17: Finally, our guest details how opposing teams should defensively game plan for DeMarcus Cousins: "Sadly the answer to that is to get in his head. Screw with him, because guess what? That's gonna throw off his 3-pointer, that's gonna throw off his inside game...if you can get him taken out of the game mentally, which we've seen so many teams do, do that."
Music: "Who Likes to Party" by Kevin MacLeod