Bet the Sacramento Kings Under 20.5 2011-2012 Season Wins
The Kings will be interesting to watch in 2012. They were all but gone to Anaheim to become the Royals. At the last minute, the Maloof family, owner of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, said it would keep the team at the state capital “out of respect to Kings fans and the regional business community” – at least for the upcoming season.
This will give the community one last opportunity to pass a bill to build a new arena to replace the antiquated Power Balance Pavillion, better known as The Arco. Hopefully with Kevin Johnson (the ex-Phoenix Sun) as the mayor, the city will be able to get something done as the team has always been well supported when the team is competitive.
The Kings will be intersting on the court as well. Tyreke Evans is the real deal that you can pencil in for 18/7/5 night in and night out. He was bothered by plantar fasciitis which limited his to just 57 games last year. Evans will have to be 100% for the entire season if the Kings are to have any hope of escaping the Western Conference cellar. Jimmer Fredette is the backup but he will undoubtedly get minutes elsewhere to fire up the fans and for quick scoring when the Kings need it which figures to be often.
Sacto’s shooting guard will be Marcus Thornton who averages 21.3 ppg after coming from the New Orleans in February. He was rewarded with a four-year $33 million dollar deal last Friday. Oft-injured Francisco Garcia is the elder statesman of the Kings. He’s an all-purpose backcourt guy when he’s healthy.
John Salmons can fill in at shooting guard in a pinch when he’s not starting at small forward. Salmons is a 14/3/3 guy that the Kings like so much that they’ve brought him back for a second tour. Travis Outlaw has been in the fold just ten days but he’s a solid 9.0 ppg reserve in his ninth year since coming directly to the NBA from high school. Donte Greene is also in the mix.
Its been a crazy week for career reserve power forward Chuck Hayes. After signing a big free-agent deal, Hayes had his contract voided after his physical revealed apparent heart irregularities. After a second physical, Hayes was resigned and will start at the four. JJ Hickson and former #1 draft choice Jason Thompson will also get minutes so it’s unlikely that Hayes will get the numbers he posted last year for the Rockets.
Sacramento’s wildcard is center DeMarcus Cousins. The 6’11” beast from Kentuck has all kinds of upside. He averaged 14.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg but lacked maturity often clashing with referees, opposing players, and his own teammates. Cousins is reportedly in great shape and has honed his game during the summer. Hickson will have to do double-duty in the post after backup Hassan Whiteside tore his patellar tendon in the final exhibition game.
While the Kings have improved their talent across the board, it remains to be seen if Paul Westphal can mold this group into a cohesive unit. This is a team that could use a Kevin Garnett type player who can instill some order and discipline and teach these very very talented kids to be professional and learn how to win. That said, they don’t have that type of player and what we have is a group of loose cannons going up and down the floor.
This is a team that might be a year or two away as some very talented parts beging to meld as a team. For now, playing in the ultra-competitive West, we’ll play Under the 20.5 wins.