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NBA Blog Previews: Sacramento Kings

The Kings are on borrowed time in Sacramento with the Maloof brothers looking to move the team to anywhere but Sacramento. Not good times for Sactown fans.

Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Kings are on borrowed time in Sacramento with the Maloof brothers looking to move the team to anywhere but Sacramento. Not good times for Sactown fans.

Sacramento Kings preview: Where the games are only subplots -

The people of Sacramento and the owners of the Kings are pretty much at war right now. Two years ago, at the end of the 2010-11 season, the Maloofs were on the verge of filing for relocation. Kevin Johnson, Sacramento's mayor and a retired All-Star NBA point guard who grew up in the city's worst neighborhood, convinced the league (specifically David Stern and chief of the owners' relocation committee Clay Bennett) to hear Sactown's case before judging the Maloofs' plans to move to Anaheim. The Maloofs, who'd already had a deal with Anaheim drawn up, quietly let it play out, though there was an evident distaste about the process. (The Maloofs ditched Sacramento ahead of Fan Appreciation Night, the season finale against the hated Lakers. Somehow, some bros wearing forum blue and gold ended up in the Maloofs' courtside seats. In New York, after Johnson dropped his bomb on the league, the Maloofs started running from the TV cameras and pretty much refused to engage Sacramento in meaningful dialogue.)

But what about the product on the court?

Preview: Same Song, Second Verse - Sactown Royalty

There are two huge glaring weaknesses, and there's only a chance that they've been addressed: shooting and defense. The Kings were better than only the Bobcats from long-range last season, but have Jimmer going into his second season and have added Brooks, a prolific if not Shuttlesworthian gunner. There are also reports that Tyreke's jumper is fixed, but I'm certainly not holding my breath. On defense, the hope is that Johnson will give the starting five some strength and length, that improved communication (a real training camp focal point for Keith Smart) will pay dividends and that Cousins will become a defensive anchor for the club. Cousins did lead the NBA in charges taken with 49 last season, so that's a plus. But foul trouble to him is trouble, and he's not a shot blocker, so we'll see if that plan works. Certainly, he's a very smart player and far more agile than he looks. (And he even looks more agile this season -- he's reportedly dropped 15 pounds.)

Sacramento Kings offseason review: Where does Thomas Robinson fit in? -

All that said, it's going to be interesting to see how Robinson fits in. He presumably will play at power forward alongside DeMarcus Cousins, and while that combination looks nice on paper, it's not the most ideal situation for Robinson. In college, he succeeded by banging bodies in the low post, dominating the glass and outrunning bigger players in transition. The problem? Cousins is also most effective when he plays inside and dominates the glass. There are elements of Robinson's game that he will need to sacrifice to keep Cousins in his preferred destination.

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