Keith Smart, coach of the lottery-bound* Sacramento Kings, had this to say about his team and defense:
“Contrary to what popular belief is that we don’t play defense or work on defense – we do try,” Smart said with a laugh. “We just don’t have players who play it.”
Sacramento Kings, 2012: 104.4 ppg allowed, worst in the NBA. Opponents shot 47.6 % from the field, also worst in the NBA.
Sacramento Kings, 2011: 104.7 ppg allowed, 24th in the NBA. Opponents shot 47.8 % from the field, which ranked 28th in the NBA.
Sacramento Kings 2009: 109.3 ppg allowed, 29th in the NBA. Opponents shot 48.3 % from the field, which was the worst in the NBA.
See a pattern? I didn’t check every defensive metric known to man, but you’ve got to go all the way back to the 2005-2006 season to find a year the Kings weren’t in the bottom 10 among ppg allowed. The halcyon days of Bibby and Bonzi and Peja and Reef. Not surprisingly, that’s the last time the Kings made the playoffs.
* Hell yes, the Kings are lottery-bound, again. Zero shot of making the playoffs.