The Good, The Bad, and what the Kings Need To Improve On After 7 Games
The Sacramento Kings are putting every ounce of energy this season into ending their 16-year playoff drought.
The Sacramento Kings are putting every ounce of energy this season into ending their 16-year playoff drought. It all started when the team hired a highly qualified head coach in Mike Brown. With the hope that Brown’s defensive mindset could help change the identity and culture of the team, Kings fans were excited.
The team did not get off to a good start as they fell to 0-4, but with a tough schedule and a new system being put in place it was not time to panic. The Kings were very competitive in every one of those games minus the Memphis game.
They are having trouble closing games out in the last five minutes which is typical for a new team and coaching staff. The team then rattled off 2 wins in a row against 2 eastern conference teams the Heat and Hornets, before losing in heartbreak fashion last night in Miami without their star De’Aaron Fox.
Fox has been on an absolute tear this season averaging 25 points per game, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists on really good efficiency. The biggest thing is his 3-point shot falling at 38 percent.
Other pros have been the new addition of Kevin Huerter who has been on fire and playing at an elite level right now averaging nearly 20 points a game and bombing almost 5 threes a game. It seems like it has been a seamless transition for Kevin coming over from Atlanta and he and Fox already have formed a great backcourt chemistry. Huerter’s ability to play off the best and run off screens and catch passes from Sabonis has been evident.
In the NBA, shooting is occasionally reduced to percentages without taking into account the difficulty and variety of attempts. Huerter, who is 6-foot-7, has the legitimate height that enables him to shoot above most guards who attempt to block his shot.
Aside from his obvious talent in shooting, Huerter has shown himself to be a rather well-rounded player. Huerter's ability to be a secondary ball handler has stood out as a tertiary component of his game on this Kings squad. Huerter won't pass for a point guard, but when the ball is in his hands, he possesses enough dribble moves, passing skills, and off-the-dribble power to bludgeon the defense.
What fans have been really wanting to see and is what coach Brown’s background states, is better defense and consistent effort. To be honest the Kings haven’t been good defensively as they still have lapses all the time, but the effort and principles are there which is nice to see. This team still has got to communicate a lot better than they have so they don’t keep allowing open threes or easy back cuts for layups.
Brown has gotten guys like Fox to compete more consistently on defense though as shown by the clamps he put on Tyler Herro to slow him down in their first win.
It’s the defensive effort like this from your tone setter like Davion that the team should be following:
All in all the Kings are still very much a work in progress under their new head coach, but they need to find ways to win some of these close games in spite of learning on the fly and winning at the same time. Getting their soon to be all star back on the court would also help as fox has been on a tear!