Despite having last season’s Rookie of the Year, Tyreke Evans, the Sacramento Kings still wound up with the third-worst record in the NBA and yet another trip to the NBA draft lottery. With the fifth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft Sacramento selected talented big man DeMarcus Cousins.
The Kings hope that Evans and Cousins can be their building blocks for the future. Last season Evans became only the fourth player in NBA history to record 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in his rookie season-Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James are the others. By joining such elite company, Evans showed that he could be a dynamic player at this level.
Cousins, who is a top-notch basketball talent, “slipped” to fifth in the draft because of concerns over his weight, attitude, and maturity. This season Cousins, who still has to show what he can do at the NBA level, will get his chance to prove the naysayers wrong.
Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins can be the building blocks for Sacramento’s future. Whether the Kings acquire the next piece via trade, free agency, or another trip to the NBA draft lottery remains to be seen.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2010-2011 Sacramento Kings:
Game 1, Wednesday, October 27 at Minnesota- Kings open the season with a road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 1-0).
Game 2, Friday, October 29 at New Jersey- Kings fall to the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center (Record 1-1).
Game 3, Saturday, October 30 at Cleveland- Kings play their third road game in four nights and lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 1-2).
Game 4, Monday, November 1 versus Raptors- Kings open November with a victory over the Toronto Raptors at Arco Arena (Record 2-2).
Game 5, Wednesday, November 3 versus Lakers- Kings fall to the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers (Record 2-3).
Game 6, Saturday, November 6 versus Grizzlies- Kings rebound with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies (Record 3-3).
Game 7, Wednesday, November 10 versus Timberwolves- Kings close an impressive 3-1 home stand with a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 4-3).
Game 8, Friday, November 12 at Phoenix- Kings fall to the Phoenix Suns for the sixth straight time (Record 4-4).
Game 9, Sunday, November 14 versus Pistons- Kings lose the first game of a four-game home stand to the Detroit Pistons (Record 4-5).
Game 10, Wednesday, November 17 versus Knicks- Kings get back on track with a close win over the New York Knicks (Record 5-5).
Game 11, Friday, November 19 versus Nets- Kings defeat the New Jersey Nets and avenge their first loss of the season (Record 6-5).
Game 12, Sunday, November 21 versus Hornets- Kings get a home win over the New Orleans Hornets (Record 7-5).
Game 13, Monday, November 22 at Utah- Kings fall to the tough, disciplined Utah Jazz (Record 7-6).
Game 14, Thursday, November 25 at Los Angeles Clippers- Kings lose a road game to the Clippers on Thanksgiving Day (Record 7-7).
Game 15, Saturday, November 27 versus Bulls- Kings fall below .500 after a loss to Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls (Record 7-8).
Game 16, Tuesday, November 30 versus Pacers- Kings finish November with a home loss to the Indiana Pacers (Record 7-9).
Game 17, Friday, December 3 at Los Angeles Lakers- Kings lose to the Lakers at the Staples Center for the sixth straight time (Record 7-10).
Game 18, Saturday, December 4 versus Mavericks- Kings fall to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks (Record 7-11).
Game 19, Monday, December 6 at Los Angeles Clippers- Kings get a road win over the Clippers (Record 8-11).
Game 20, Wednesday, December 8 versus Wizards- Kings get a home win over John Wall and the Washington Wizards (Record 9-11).
Game 21, Saturday, December 11 versus Heat- Kings drop a home game to the Miami Heat (Record 9-12).
Game 22, Tuesday, December 14 at Houston- Kings begin a three-game road trip with a loss to Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets (Record 9-13).
Game 23, Wednesday, December 15 at New Orleans- Kings drop the second half of a back-to-back to the New Orleans Hornets (Record 9-14).
Game 24, Friday, December 17 at Oklahoma City- Kings fall to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Ford Center (Record 9-15).
Game 25, Sunday, December 19 versus Rockets- Kings begin a five-game home stand by avenging an earlier loss to the Houston Rockets (Record 10-15).
Game 26, Tuesday, December 21 versus Warriors- Kings get a victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors (Record 11-15).
Game 27, Thursday, December 23 versus Bucks- Kings drop a home game to the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 11-16).
Game 28, Monday, December 27 versus Clippers- Kings defeat Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers (Record 12-16).
Game 29, Wednesday, December 29 versus Grizzlies- Kings fall to the Memphis Grizzlies to close a 3-2 home stand (Record 12-17).
Game 30, Saturday, January 1 at Denver- Kings fall to the Denver Nuggets in their first game of the New Year (Record 12-18).
Game 31, Sunday, January 2 versus Suns- Kings lose to Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns for the seventh consecutive time (Record 12-19).
Game 32, Tuesday, January 4 versus Hawks- Kings drop a competitive game to the high-flying Atlanta Hawks (Record 12-20).
Game 33, Thursday, January 6 versus Nuggets- Kings avoid a winless three-game home stand by defeating the visiting Denver Nuggets (Record 13-20).
Game 34, Sunday, January 9 at Toronto- Kings begin a six-game road trip with a loss to the Toronto Raptors (Record 13-21).
Game 35, Tuesday, January 11 at Washington- Kings fall to the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center (Record 13-22).
Game 36, Wednesday, January 12 at Boston- Kings lose to the Boston Celtics and drop their seventh consecutive road game (Record 13-23).
Game 37, Friday, January 14 at New York- Kings drop a road game to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Record 13-24).
Game 38, Saturday, January 15 at Detroit- Kings continue to struggle and lose to the Detroit Pistons at the Palace (Record 13-25).
Game 39, Monday, January 17 at Atlanta- Kings fall to the Atlanta Hawks on Martin Luther King Day (Record 13-26).
Game 40, Wednesday, January 19 versus Trail Blazers- Kings drop a home game to the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (Record 13-27).
Game 41, Friday, January 21 at Golden State- Kings lose a close game to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena (Record 13-28).
Game 42, Monday, January 24 at Portland- Kings fall to the Trail Blazers again and suffer their ninth consecutive loss (Record 13-29).
Game 43, Tuesday, January 25 versus Bobcats- Kings drop a home game to the Charlotte Bobcats as their January struggles continue (Record 13-30).
Game 44, Friday, January 28 at Los Angeles Lakers- Kings lose to the Lakers (Record 13-31).
Game 45, Saturday, January 29 versus Hornets- Kings fall to the New Orleans Hornets in the second half of a back-to-back (Record 13-32).
Game 46, Tuesday, February 1 versus Celtics- Kings begin a five-game home stand with a loss to the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics (record 13-33).
Game 47, Friday, February 4 versus Spurs- Kings lose to the San Antonio Spurs for the 10th straight time (Record 13-34).
Game 48, Monday, February 7 versus Jazz- Kings drop a home game to the Utah Jazz (Record 13-35).
Game 49, Wednesday, February 9 versus Mavericks- Kings continue to struggle and lose to the Dallas Mavericks (Record 13-36).
Game 50, Saturday, February 12 versus Thunder- Kings fall the Oklahoma City Thunder to close a winless five-game home stand (Record 13-37).
Game 51, Sunday, February 13 at Phoenix- Kings drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Phoenix Suns (Record 13-38).
Game 52, Tuesday, February 15 at Oklahoma City- Kings get a road win over the Thunder at the Ford Center (Record 14-38).
Game 53, Wednesday, February 16 at Dallas- Kings close the first half of the season with a loss to the Dallas Mavericks (Record 14-39).
Game 54, Tuesday, February 22 at Miami- Kings resume their road trip with a loss to the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena (Record 14-40).
Game 55, Wednesday, February 23 at Orlando- Kings fall to the Orlando Magic and drop both halves of a Florida back-to-back (Record 14-41).
Game 56, Friday, February 25 at Charlotte- Kings fall to the Charlotte Bobcats for the sixth straight time (Record 14-42).
Game 57, Saturday, February 26 at Memphis- Kings drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Memphis Grizzlies (Record 14-43).
Game 58, Monday, February 28 versus Clippers- Kings finish February with a home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (Record 14-44).
Game 59, Wednesday, March 2 versus Trail Blazers- Kings carry their January and February struggles into March and fall to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden (Record 14-45).
Game 60, Saturday, March 5 at Utah- Kings fall to Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena (Record 14-46).
Game 61, Monday, March 7 versus Rockets- Kings drop a home game to the visiting Houston Rockets (Record 14-47).
Game 62, Wednesday, March 9 versus Magic- Kings fall to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic for the seventh consecutive time (Record 14-48).
Game 63, Friday, March 11 at San Antonio- Kings lose to the San Antonio Spurs and suffer their 11th straight loss (Record 14-49).
Game 64, Saturday, March 12 at New Orleans- Kings drop the second half of a back-to-back to the New Orleans Hornets (Record 14-50).
Game 65, Monday, March 14 versus Warriors- Kings drop a home game to the Golden State Warriors (Record 14-51).
Game 66, Wednesday, March 16 versus Cavaliers- Kings fall to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the eighth straight time (Record 14-52).
Game 67, Friday, March 18 versus 76ers- Kings close a 1-2 home stand with a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 15-52).
Game 68, Sunday, March 20 at Minnesota- Kings get a road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to begin a five-game road trip (Record 16-52).
Game 69, Monday, March 21 at Chicago- Kings fall to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center (Record 16-53).
Game 70, Wednesday, March 23 at Milwaukee- Kings defeat the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center (Record 17-53).
Game 71, Friday, March 25 at Indiana- Kings drop a road game to the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse (Record 17-54).
Game 72, Sunday, March 27 at Philadelphia- Kings defeat the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center (Record 18-54).
Game 73, Tuesday, March 29 versus Suns- Kings lose a home game to the Phoenix Suns at Arco Arena (Record 18-55).
Game 74, Wednesday, March 30 at Denver- Kings play their third game in four nights and fall to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center (Record 18-56).
Game 75, Friday, April 1 versus Nuggets- Kings begin April with a home loss to the Nuggets (Record 18-57).
Game 76, Sunday, April 3 versus Jazz- Kings get a home win over the visiting Utah Jazz (Record 19-57).
Game 77, Tuesday, April 5 at Houston- Kings fall to the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center (Record 19-58).
Game 78, Wednesday, April 6 at San Antonio- Kings win the second half of a back-to-back over Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs (Record 20-58).
Game 79, Friday, April 8 at Memphis- Kings defeat the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum (Record 21-58).
Game 80, Sunday, April 10 at Golden State- Kings drop a close road game to the Golden State Warriors (Record 21-59).
Game 81, Monday, April 11 versus Thunder- Kings fall to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half of a back-to-back (Record 21-60).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 13 versus Lakers- Kings finish their season with a loss to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers (Record 21-61).
Prediction: The Sacramento Kings will win less than 30 games for the third straight season and make yet another trip to the NBA draft lottery.
More 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions:
Los Angeles Lakers 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Miami Heat 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
San Antonio Spurs 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Information from ESPN.com’s Sacramento Kings 2011 Schedule, Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans wins NBA Rookie of Year award, NBA.com’s Draft 2010, and Despite potential, doubts continue to surround Cousins was used for this article.