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Are the Kings Back?

Whenever I turned on my beloved Sacramento Kings last year I had one thought running through my head. I remember always thinking wow, how can a team be this bad and look so lethargic. Now when I turn on the Kings this season I still get that same wow feeling, but now it is wow how is this team playing so well and how do they look so different from last year. There have been just a few changes made from last years team which held claim to a league worst 17-65 record, and yet they look more like a playoff team than a lottery team this year. The biggest change made to the Kings roster came in the 2009 draft where they very wisely passed on Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio and instead went with Tyreke Evans out of Memphis. Evans has been a breath of fresh air at point guard, and though he definitely looks like the rookie he is at times more often he looks as though he has been playing in the league for upwards of five years. Last season the King’s biggest problems were defense, rebounding, and leadership, all of which have been improved by Evan’s work on the court. The other main factor in the Kings turn around so far this season is the development of their young players. Last year Jason Thompson was just another rookie who looked lost and out of place on the court. But now he is averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Donte Green has also impressed early on the season, as last year he struggled to remain on the active roster but this year has become the first player off the bench using his sweet stroke to help the Kings win some close games. The quickest way to improve your team in the NBA is to have a good draft and get your young prospects to progress and improve, and this is just what the Kings have done to make such a drastic turn around so far this season.

Now onto my opening question, are the Kings back? Well in short, no. I know I have been giving out a lot of praise, but 9 games is just not nearly enough games to determine how good the Kings are. Though the future does look very bright with all the young promising talent the Kings have. And remember they are 5-4 without the best player, Kevin Martin, for half of those games, and without arguably their second best player, Francisco Garcia, for all of the games. So, the Kings aren’t back to their glory years of the early 2000s just yet, but there are definitely many reasons for King’s fans to be excited about the direction this team is going in.

-Garrett Hill