SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 20: DeAaron Fox #5 and Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings celebrate after a three-point basket in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Golden 1 Center on November 20, 2022 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 20: De’Aaron Fox #5 and Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings celebrate after a three-point basket in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Golden 1 Center on November 20, 2022 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Why The Sacramento Kings Are Not Improving

  De’Aaron Fox drops 43 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists on the same night the King’s other All-Star Domantas Sabonis has a season-high 34 points,12 rebounds, and 5 assists. 

So surely this was enough for the Kings to beat the then 7-21 Portland Trail Blazers who were down two starting players, right?

 Wrong.

The Kings were blown out with a score of 130-113, and it wasn’t close for most of the second half. A demeaning loss that has most fans questioning not only the talent of this team but also leaves us wondering how much this squad wants to win. No other player outside of Sabonis and Fox scored in double digits…

De’Aaron Fox, the team leader, came out in the first half playing very lethargic and appeared to be jogging up and down the court and showing no defensive intensity. This seemed to spread quickly throughout the rest of the team, because the defense absolutely collapsed in the second quarter, and they never got it together. The Blazers were the worst shooting team coming into this game, so there is no excuse for this horrid loss. The Kings took the Blazers too lightly because of their record and got humiliated because of it. 

The main struggles of this team can be blamed on the role players on the Kings. Outside of Fox, Sabonis, Keegan Murray, and Malik Monk, every single player’s shooting numbers have dipped for the worst and everyone is playing statistically much worse than they were last year. 

Kevin Huerter has had the most disappointing drop-off out of everyone on the team. Over the last 10 games, Huerter is averaging just 6.4 points per game, with a FG% of 35%, and is shooting 26% from 3. This is unacceptable as a starter, and it is unbelievable that he has yet to be benched. His subpar play this year has forced the Kings to switch up their offense and is causing a lot of the inconsistent play we are seeing on that end of the floor. It would not be surprising to see Kevin be benched, traded, or fall out of the lineup completely. When he is not hitting his shot, he’s not doing a whole lot else and unfortunately, I don’t see his time in Sacramento lasting too much longer unless he gets it together quickly.

To make it worse, the Kings are still one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA with a defensive rating of 117.1, which is tied for 21st in the NBA. Also, the whole agenda of surrounding De’Aaron Fox with shooters turned out to be a complete failure, as Fox (39.6%)is now the second-best 3-point shooter on the team, averaging only 0.5% less efficiency than the best shooter on the team, Malik Monk (40.1%). 

General Manager Monte Mcnair had a vision that this team’s chemistry and offense would be enough to make a run in the playoffs this year, but with the team getting heavily exposed many times early on into the season, it appears obvious that changes need to be made to the roster. The Sacramento Kings are a good team, but everyone already knew that. To be a contending team, the next step is going to have to involve trading some players and potentially draft picks in order to get the consistent defensive players that this team desperately needs. 

Expect players like Dorian Finney-Smith, Alex Caruso, Jerami Grant, Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam to all be pursued by the Sacramento Kings before the trade deadline in February. All of these players are upgrades over certain players in the rotation that just aren’t cutting it if the Kings want to be contenders this year. 

The Kings still have a lot of time to figure things out, so there is no reason to hit the panic button yet. But, from the sample of games we have seen so far, the Kings have clearly struggled against teams that have size and defense, making it very obvious what the Kings need to upgrade the most. All Kings fans can do is hope a move is made soon, otherwise this could end up being a wasted season for a very talented team. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to THE ROADRUNNER
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All TheRoadrunner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *