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Kings’ newcomers feel like they can lead team to playoffs

Kings, Vlade Divac

The Sacramento Kings were expected by many to be playoff contenders in the Western Conference this season. But it has certainly not worked out that way.

The Kings are just 16-29 on the season thus far. That’s good for 13th place in the West. They are five games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed and there appears to be some locker-room dysfunction.

To be fair, Sacramento has dealt with a myriad of injury issues this year. But even when the Kings have been healthy, they have not played up to expectations.

Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver hope to change that.

Earlier this week, Sacramento acquired Bazemore and Tolliver in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. And the two veterans are hoping they can help vault the Kings back into the playoff picture:

“Me and Kent both feel exactly the same way — it’s not unfixable,” Tolliver said this week upon joining the Kings, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “It’s not something where we feel, ‘Aw, crap, we’re just gonna have to ride it out.’ We really feel we have an opportunity to do something with the guys we have.”

Bazemore added that Sacramento has plenty of time to right the ship:

“It’s a long season,” Bazemore said. “To be going through the stress they are and still have a chance — only four or five games out — you win two or three games in a row, you finish strong going into the (All-Star) break and you have plenty of time to make up that slack.”

While both Tolliver and Bazemore make some good points, there do seem to be some problems on this club that may not be able to be corrected over the next couple of months.