When you are a head coach in the NBA, you need to figure out ways to win games. Otherwise, you will not be employed for long. Dave Joerger took over the Sacramento Kings over the summer, and he has already figured out this early in the season that what he is doing is not working. That is why the team is going to be moving to a smaller lineup, as reported by ESPN.
For much of the season, the Sacramento Kings have gone with a fairly traditional starting lineup. Ty Lawson at point guard, Arron Afflalo at shooting guard, Rudy Gay at small forward, DeMarcus Cousins at power forward and Kosta Koufos at center. Other than Matt Barnes and Omri Casspi filling in for a game each, that has been the standard lineup that the Kings have gone with for the beginning part of the season.
The result of this particular lineup has netted a 4-9 record, which does not sit well with Dave Joerger.
When the season started, very few people predicted that the Sacramento Kings are going to be one of the eight teams in the Western Conference that would make it to the NBA Playoffs. The hope was that Dave Joerger can simply provide some sort of stability for the franchise after an embarrassing stint with George Karl as the head coach. Karl and DeMarcus Cousins frequently butted heads during their tenure together.
Based on what happened during the second half of their game against the Los Angeles Clippers and what Dave Joerger said to the media, it appears that DeMarcus Cousins is headed for a position change. Kosta Koufos appears headed for a spot on the bench. That means that Cousins is more than likely going to move from power forward to center.
With DeMarcus Cousins moving to center, it appears that Rudy Gay will be moving from small forward to power forward. It is not his natural position, but at 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, Gay should be able to do just fine with the smaller lineups that are now commonplace in the NBA. He might actually thrive because he can drive past bigger opponents.
If Rudy Gay moves to power forward as expected, then Arron Afflalo becomes the most likely candidate to move to small forward. Normally a shooting guard, the former New York Knicks star will need to adapt to defending bigger players.
To add more play-making ability to his starting lineup, Dave Joerger decided to go with a back court of Ty Lawson and Darren Collison. While they are smaller than most guard combinations in the NBA, the two of them are capable of running pick and rolls. Joerger believes that gives the Sacramento Kings a chance because they can attack both sides of the court now.
With this lineup change, Garrett Temple is expected to receive more playing time. The Sacramento Kings have no other point guard on the roster. Temple is not a natural at the position, but he can handle his own there. He will receive some minutes behind Ty Lawson and Darren Collison because the team simply cannot keep both of them on the floor.
This might also be an opportunity for Ben McLemore to receive more playing time. The 6-foot-5 guard has been trying to find a new home in the NBA, so this might be a good opportunity for him to be showcased by the Sacramento Kings before the trading deadline in February. It might also be an opportunity for him to find a home in the rotation with the Kings.
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