30Q | Articles

30Q: Where can the Kings find some consistency?

After an up-and-down season, the Kings could greatly benefit from some consistency.

Seven wins in eight games followed by nine straight losses is pretty close to the definition of inconsistency in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings managed to follow that exact pattern twice in the 2020-21 season. At least they were consistently inconsistent?

Typically, consistency in the league is most obtainable on the defensive end of the floor. Even the best offensive teams in the league are going to have an Off-Night shooting the ball every once in a while.

Being aggressive, engaged, and active on the defensive end is something that can be achieved throughout all 82 games each year. Sacramento fit that description maybe around 40 times last season, and that's being generous.

While that defensive effort level is widely expected to increase this season, there are ways that teams can find some regularity on the offensive end of the floor as well. Typically, it's by knowing what your best player(s) are able to bring on a night in and night out basis.

De'Aaron Fox isn't going to finish upwards of 70 percent of his attempts at the rim every night. Fox can however find points regularly at the free-throw line, where he finished tied for eighth in attempts per game (7.2) last season.

Of course, getting to the line isn't exactly an easy task but I also wouldn't label it as all that challenging for potentially the fastest player in the league who also possesses elite body control.

De'Aaron isn't the only player dressed in royal purple that succeeds in regularly demanding a whistle. Harrison Barnes finished just outside the top-40 last season in free throw attempts per game with 4.1.

Getting there to the charity stripe is great, but knocking them down is the important part. Clearly, that's primarily directed towards Fox. Of all players in the top-10 of free throw attempts last season, only Giannis Antetokounmpo (68.5 percent), Zion Williamson (69.8 percent) and De'Aaron Fox (71.9 percent) converted at less than 85 percent rate.

Improving Fox's free throw percentage is something that the media, fanbase, and Fox himself have been talking about for a few years now. Progress is essential, as evident by Sacramento's 3-11 record last season when Fox made less than four free throws. No way Fox should spend 30+ minutes on the floor and only go to the line once or twice.

While De'Aaron is clearly the engine and leader in this category, the rest of the team is more than capable in drawing fouls, and when they did the wins often followed.

The Kings made at least 20 free throws on 21 occasions in 2020-21. Their record in those games? 15-6.

On 27 different nights, the Kings converted less than 15 free throws. They were 6-21 in those showings.

The total number of free-throw attempts is representative of the team's mindset. What it all comes back down to is maintaining an aggressive mentality in attacking the basket and putting pressure on the rim.

We know Fox can do that at a high level, Barnes can contribute his share, and Marvin Bagley has the capabilities to be rewarded with a couple of trips to the line each night.

While defensive's becoming growingly considered with conceding free throws they tend to forget about shooters. More open catch and shoot attempts for Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton is always a good outcome.

While the most obvious answer to my question of finding consistency is defense, the Sacramento Kings may be able to achieve that on offense with relentless attacking resulting in free throws.

Bottom line is that the Kings need to more aggressive on both ends for 82 games this season. Hopefully, those around last year are sick and tired of the ups-and-downs and I'm sure the new faces and mentalities don't want that experience.

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aplumley
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September 21, 2021 10:04 am

Both issues (FT attempts and Defense) speak to one root cause. Aggressiveness. If the team can be consistently aggressive, they will be a threat to win on any given night. That consistent mindset comes with maturity, which hopefully they’ve found a little bit of in the off season.

RikSmits
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September 21, 2021 11:06 am
Reply to  aplumley

I think the main issue is rebounding; you won’t improve your defense if you can’t secure the ball after a missed shot and you reduce your opportunities to run the floor and get to the rim.

markdog333
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September 21, 2021 2:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Plus the resulting shot from an offensive rebound is typically a high percentage shot.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
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September 21, 2021 10:07 am

OT: Whoa! What the freak heck is going on in Philly?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
September 21, 2021 10:10 am
Reply to  Klam

His price is dropping. At this point I’d offer any combination of players not named Hali or Fox and a protected first rounder or two. Pick up the phone Monte.

Carl
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September 21, 2021 10:10 am
Reply to  Klam

The deals are going to get better for Simmons. One thing we’ve glossed over here is that he appears to be extremely thin skinned, and while we may (or may not) be happy we’ve gotten the player, there’s a risk in getting the person. Not saying they shouldn’t make the deal, but it could blow up in ways that have nothing to do with basketball, so that should be a factor in who you send out. Ultimately, I think the deal that actually gets made involves Malcolm Brogdon.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl
RikSmits
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September 21, 2021 11:04 am
Reply to  Carl

Oh, we are very good at sucking up top our “star” players, no matter their attitude. And Walton is a players coach. What could possibly go wrong?

Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
murraytant
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September 21, 2021 5:03 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Oh Ben. I am a players coach. Don’t want to shoot, can’t shoot? That’s ok. You start.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 22, 2021 9:34 pm
Reply to  murraytant

All that defense you play is not something I understand. Back off a bit….

SexyNapear
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September 21, 2021 10:19 am

Pretty simple. Know your role on the team. I’m looking at you, Buddy.

1951
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September 21, 2021 10:49 am

Um, the Kings have been very consistent for like 15 seasons in a row!

Kangz_Landing
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September 21, 2021 6:43 pm

Good Defense effort travels

The only consistency I wanna see. The only consistency this team needs.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 22, 2021 9:32 pm

Consistency is found in bringing back the same team year after year.

The win loss record is pretty consistent.

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