Three weeks ago, the Kings had the NBA’s worst record (5-23), sporting two separate eight-game losing streaks and losing 22 of their previous 24 contests overall. Since then, Sacramento has won four out of its last 11 games, including two straight at home and an impressive road victory at Madison Square Garden last Friday, the team’s first win away from Power Balance Pavilion—formerly ARCO Arena—since October 30, 2010.
A 9-30 record may not be enough to get the fans excited, but the team has, at the very least, climbed out of the NBA’s cellar in the standings—thanks, Cleveland!
“Even though our record is pretty bad, we always have a chance to win, and we feel like we have a pretty good team,” said Kings coach Paul Westphal.
Although the losing can understandably leave the players and coaches frustrated, the atmosphere in the locker room has remained positive and upbeat, as the Kings have managed to keep the defeats on the court in perspective.
“Even after a loss, we’re brothers at the end of the day,” said forward Carl Landry. “We might get frustrated with one another on the court, but at the end of the day, everybody is happy, has your back, and just loves to be around one another.”
Over the last few weeks, the Kings have been one of the most competitive and exciting teams in the league, with eight out of their last 10 losses decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. Three of those defeats came without the services of reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, who has been plagued by plantar fasciitis for much of the season.
But with Evans nearing full strength—the point guard has averaged 19.7 points, 6.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.8 steals over his last eight games—rookie center DeMarcus Cousins believes that Sacramento is ready to build some much-needed chemistry.
“I believe [our chemistry] was messed up a little bit with Tyreke out of the rotation,” he said. “But I believe we’ll get on the right path with him playing [against the Knicks], and hopefully we can continue to improve with our chemistry.”