Sacramento Kings – 2008 Team Preview – Betting Odds
by Jason of Predictem.com
2007 Record: 38-44 (44-37-1 ATS)
Head Coach: Reggie Theus
Assistant Coach’s: Kenny Natt, Chuck Person, Rex Kalamian, Jason Hamm, Randy Brown, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Home Court: Arco Arena
Projected Starting Lineup:
Center: Brad Miller
Forward: Mikki Moore
Forward: John Salmons
Guard: Kevin Martin
Guard: Beno Udrih
Current NBA Championship Odds: 100-1
Even though the Kings only won 38 games last year and did not come close to making the playoffs the year has to be seen as a success. The team was killed by injuries, as Kevin Martin, Brad Miller, Mike Bibby, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Beno Udrih all missed significant time. Bibby was dealt in the middle of the season, but after starting the season 12-20 they actually finished solid at 26-24.
Who’s In/Who’s Out
The Kings traded for F Donte Green, drafted Jason Thomson, and brought in free agent G Bobby Brown. The team lost F Ron Artest, and G Anthony Johnson
The Kings have a lot of holes this season, but they can shoot the rock. 4 of the 5 projected starters averaged at least 12 ppg last year led by Kevin Martin 23.7 ppg, who will be looked at to be the main man on offense this season. 6th man Francisco Garcia (12.3 ppg) can score off the bench. The one concern is the lack of bench scoring besides Garcia. C Brad Miller is a solid scoring center and F John Salmons is good for around 13 ppg. Last year the Kings ranked 8th in points scored (102.53 ppg) and 10th in FG% (46.4%).
Even with Artest, who is a defensive stud, the Kings stank on D last year. They ranked 24th in points allowed (104.79 ppg) and 23rd in opponents FG% (46.6%). The Kings also were bad on the glass last year ranking 23rd in rebounding differential (-1.82 rpg). The Kings need to cut down on their turnovers, as last year they had the worst turnover rate in the league. Artest is the only King that could play any D and he is now in Houston. The Kings are weak both in their perimeter and frontcourt D. The Kings are really hope rookies Jason Thompson and Donte Greene, who are both 6’11” or taller, will help their inside defense. The Kings will have to score a ton because they will, once again, be a weak defensive team.
The main strength of the Kings is that they can flat out shoot the rock. Martin shot 40.2% from beyond the arc and Udrih, Miller, and Mikki Moore are all great mid range shooters. The Kings are also one of the better free throw shooting teams in the league. Salmons had a great year, which was unexpected, but he can score as well. The Kings will have no problem scoring the pill, but can they keep teams from scoring more with the D they have?
Look to the above question and the answer has to be no. The biggest weakness of the Kings, by far, is their defense. They finished 26th in defensive efficiency last with Artest, which is not good since he is a Rocket. They have height in the frontcourt, but the forwards a tad soft to say the least. Martin is a no-show on defense and Udrih is easier to blow by than a tractor on the freeway. The bench has one good defensive player in Shelden Williams, but his offense is so bad he will not get a lot of minutes.
Betting Odds and Projections
The Kings did a good job to win 38 games last year, but they are worse this year picking up nobody of note in the off-season and losing Artest. Bodog has the Kings at 100-1 to win the title, which is generous. I would rather bet loot on the lottery, as there is more of a chance of me hitting the jackpot millions than the Kings winning the championship this year. The Kings are at +/- 26.5 wins at Superbook, which is an 11.5 game drop over last year. They will be lucky if that is all they drop. This is a hard bet to take, but if the Kings can play any D this year they will win at least 30 games, since they can score. Overall, the Kings are not a good team that plays in the stacked Western Conference. Look for the Kings to be far from the playoffs and pick high in the draft in 2009.