If you're a coach, and you don't know what you're going to get from guys on a given night, that's a tough way to coach. I'm not really a huge coach freak—I'd say there are probably three or four coaches who truly make a difference with their teams. A coach is only as good as his players, and right now, Westphal is dealing with a young group of guys who [haven’t] established themselves as a solid team instead of 12 individuals.
These guys are too young to really recognize it, but Westphal is a players' coach. He'll never throw them under the bus—he'll step to the other side of the page before leaving reporters to say what they want to say as opposed to what he knows about a player's performance.
How would you go about improving the current roster? Which type of player would make the most sense for the Kings?
Certainly, I would like to see the Kings have a young, quick point guard—a guy who handles the ball really well. I don't see Tyreke as a point guard [because] to me, point guards look to make their teammates better before they look to score. I see Tyreke as a primetime scorer, so I'd like to see a guy who runs down the middle of the floor on the fast break and gets the ball to the wings on either side.
And you certainly need improved shooting. Right now, DeMarcus Cousins has probably made more wide open jump shots than all but two or three of the Kings. You sure want to have the other guys shoot better, because you can't just pound it inside against teams without the threat of perimeter scoring.
What'll help this team the most, is going through a year or two. Even the Kings team in 1999, that came together late after the lockout, with Vlade, Webb, J-Will [Jason Williams], Jon Barry, and Vernon Maxwell, started off slowly and then won eight or nine of their last 10 to get into the playoffs.
What is your one bold prediction for the season?
The Kings will find out they should've been playing Pooh Jeter from the start. I think he can be a game changer given the opportunity. He's probably the purest point guard they have, too.
Photos courtesy of SacBee.com and Getty Images.