These were not your Grandma’s apple turnovers.
The Sacramento Kings put a foul taste in viewers’ mouths by way of sloppy play this season. Turnovers were the common theme, and there was more variety than Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Over-dribbling, forced passes and offensive fouls all contributed to a year of wasted possessions.
Sacramento averaged 16.3 turnovers per game, ranking 27th in the NBA and the most as a franchise since the 1998-99 season. The Kings recorded at least 20 turnovers in a match 20 times this season, and notched single-digit totals only twice. It was a telling sign when the team spilled a season-high 27 turnovers in a season-opening loss to the Golden State Warriors.
The table below shows the turnovers between three Kings head coaches this season.
|W-L record||Assists p/g||Turnovers p/g||Points off turnovers|
The table below breaks down turnover responsibilities among the players (number in parenthesis is games played with the Kings).
|Assists p/g||Turnovers p/g||Turnovers per 36 min||% of team’s total turnovers|
- Michael Malone’s firing in mid-December damaged the Kings’ offensive efficiency as well as its defense. Luckily for the franchise, George Karl jump-started the team’s ball movement and made strides towards fixing the sloppiness.
- DeMarcus Cousins ranked second in the NBA with a career-high in turnovers per game. While he faced constant double and triple-teams, a few of Cousins’ turnovers were the result of his decisions as point center. Perhaps it’s time to let a guard run the the offense.
- Rudy Gay saw a drop in usage percentage of 27.6 to 27.0 from a year ago. More than subsequently his turnovers per game decreased by nearly a half.
- When healthy, Darren Collison looked poised as the Kings’ floor general, but he’d like to cut down mistakes in his second go-around.
- Shooting guard Ben McLemore improved his decision making in his sophomore NBA season to increase his assists by 0.7 and his turnovers to 0.5 per contest.
- Ray McCallum, who started at point for the the final 30 games of the season, managed a 2-1 assist to turnover ratio. That will have to improve if he hopes to compete for a starting role at the one.
- Speaking of 2-1 ratios, current Wizard and eight-year veteran Ramon Sessions couldn’t manage one. His trade departure was best for both parties.
- Sessions’ replacement, 39-year-old Andre Miller, breathed life into the Kings’ stagnant ball movement. Nearly two turnovers per game off the bench left more to be desired, but he provided a much needed jolt to the second unit.
- Rim attacker Derrick Williams had a superb season taking care of the ball. The forward’s knack to drive and put the ball on the floor without getting picked is one of his most underrated skills.
- Despite his struggles shooting the rock, Nik Stauskas was responsible with the leather. As the season wore on, the off guard increased his dribbling and passing with no harm done.
- Coaches will review game tape in the offseason and conclude that Reggie Evans and Ryan Hollins should see a reduction in touches.
The Kings built some momentum rolling into the offseason, but the 2014-15 campaign will serve as a painful reminder of the consequences of careless basketball.