Sacramento Kings Need Better Defense from Isaiah Thomas

By John Raffel
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas has been demonstrating plenty of skills this season for the Sacramento Kings. But he obviously has to improve on defending some of the best NBA players.

Proof of that came Tuesday, when the Kings lost to the Denver Nuggets 120-113.

Ty Lawson is among the Nuggets’ top weapons, but Thomas couldn’t stop him. Lawson led his team with 24 points and dished out seven assists. As a guard, Lawson shot what he needed to at 50 percent, going 8-of-16. Ironically, with no one defending him at the free-throw line, he was 6-of-12.

Thomas was fun to watch from the offensive side, where he was 6-of-13 from the floor in 34 minutes of action and scored 23 points. He had eight assists. But defensively, he had one steal and only two boards.

Those are typical stats for Thomas and they show that his defense needs plenty of work. In two seasons, he has not improved defensively. His numbers have improved offensively, but offense is not winning games for the Kings.

Defense needs to get better for the entire team and it might as well start with Thomas. He has to give his teammates the notion that defense is more important than what he’s been demonstrating. He needs to be benched more often for this reason unless his defensive totals pick up.

In their last three games, the Kings have given up totals of 120 and 130 in two of those games. Unsurprisingly, they lost both. It’s a rarity in the NBA nowadays to score that many points–but it’s even more rare to score than many points and lose.

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