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Mike Brown has been waiting for a game like Monday, and it might be just the beginning for Sacramento

"These guys can flat-out shoot." The Kings' record-breaking shooting night wasn't just about a hot hand, it was a cohesive offense full of players that know their roles and are willing to share the ball.
By | 46 Comments | Dec 12, 2023

Dec 11, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) takes a three-point shot over Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) during the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a play indicative of the way the whole night went.

A collision under the basket sent Domantas Sabonis sprawling, and teammate Harrison Barnes stayed back of the fast break to help the big man up. De’Aaron Fox sped down the court anyway, saw his disadvantage three on five situation, and pulled up for a top of the three key.

Splash.

There were 25 of those moments Monday night as Sacramento set a franchise record for 3-pointers made in a game, connecting on 55.6% of their 45 attempts on the evening. Coming into the game, the Kings were averaging 41.5 attempts per contest and 15 makes, but Mike Brown felt they could still shoot the ball better based on what he was seeing in practice. Monday, it happened.

“I’m telling you, these guys can flat out shoot,” Brown said, “and they’re going to share the ball.”

Share the ball they did, collecting 38 assists on 48 made field goals. But it wasn’t just that they were hitting shots, it was hitting the shots they’ve been focusing on getting all season long.

“We’re generating more corner 3s this year than we did last year I think, but they just hadn’t gone in,” Brown said. “Not only that, I think we were 30th on catch-and-shoot 3s [coming into the game]. We told our team that two days ago, too, and we know we’re way better than that.

“So, to see us get more corner 3s, but yet still to knock them down was very gratifying.”

It is as gratifying for the coach as it is the players, who continue to marvel at how a group that loves to shoot can also slot into a role that might not ask them to on any given night. After Monday’s victory, Malik Monk mentioned that both Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes had single digit shot attempts against the Nets, but continued to be great teammates and fill their role regardless.

“It’s not going to be your night every night,” Monk said. “Kev had six shot attempts tonight, HB seven. But Kev was just being a great teammate, cheering us on, because he knows his night might come tomorrow.”

Monk added that an effort like Monday brought him back to last season, when he felt like the team was clicking on all cylinders.

“A lot like last year. That’s exactly what it feels like. [We’re] the best offense in the NBA, so we got to continue to do things like this.”

12 different Kings attempted a three-pointer Monday, with eight connecting on at least one. Fox led in attempts with 10, something that he has been focused on adding to his game, according to his coach.

“Teams are going to space him,” Brown said. “They’re going to go underneath screens and dare him to shoot the ball. He’s worked extremely hard on his three point shooting. Give him a lot of credit because when he’s locked in, he’s as good a shooter as anyone we have on our team. It’s a really nice easy shot, and when he knocks one, two down, now it’s a problem. Now teams have to step out or he’s going to go 5-10, which is obviously a highly efficient night.”

Speaking of efficient nights, Barnes was 3-4 from beyond the arc, Keegan Murray 4-4, Trey Lyles 5-6, and Monk 4-7. Everyone had it going, and the ball kept finding the open man.

“[It was] a lot of good ball movement,” Murray said. “I feel like we shared the ball really well. That led to a lot of open looks and we knew that they’re a team that gives up a lot of 3s and took advantage of that.”

Obviously the expectation isn’t to shoot 50% or better from behind the arc every night, but it was important to see the Kings get the shots that they wanted and knock them down at an impressive clip. It should give the team plenty of confidence heading into a back to back, where they will face a Clippers’ team also playing their second night in two games.

With an upcoming stretch that features seven home games in their next eight contests, there is an opportunity for Sacramento to establish themselves as one of the elite teams in the Western Conference.

If they continue to move the ball, get the shots that they want, and knock them down, they have a chance to do exactly that.

“It’s a backbreaker when you can hit a 3, especially quick in the shot clock,” Brown said. “So, it felt really good to see that that 3-ball, especially from the corner, go in.”

 

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46 Comments
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andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 3:17 pm

What would you say is the minimum 3pt% that the Kings will need to make if they’re going to compete for a top-4 spot when the season ends?

They’re obviously better than they have been, and certainly not as good as they were against the Nets. What’s that sweet spot look like?

Greg
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December 12, 2023 3:22 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Kings as a team are currently shooting 36.5% from 3 (17th in the NBA) on 41.7 3PAs per game (3rd in the NBA). For context, the best teams in the NBA currently are the Thunder and Nets, both shooting 39.1% from three. So, what do they need to shoot to compete for a top spot? I’d say slightly better than they’ve shot so far. 37.5%, for example, would currently put them 9th in the NBA. A percentage or two better, at the volume the Kings shoot, would swing a few games from losses into wins, and in the West a few games makes all the difference.

Jack
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December 12, 2023 3:35 pm
Reply to  Greg

I’d say 38% would be good. I would have said 40% but think it might not be realistic

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 12, 2023 4:29 pm
Reply to  Jack

Yeah, 40% is damn near impossible when generally teams are lucky to have two to three 40% volume shooters from deep. I think the Golden State dynasty has only done it once.

andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 4:59 pm
Reply to  Greg

That seems pretty reasonable, and more importantly, achievable. Huerter and Vez will revert to the mean, and Keon is a guy who can move that number in the right direction, too. Murray may not shoot 41% again, but he won’t only shoot 35% either.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 12, 2023 5:41 pm
Reply to  Greg

Stat stuff:
Most 3 pointers made in a season: 1,363 Golden State Warriors 2022-23
Highest 3 point team percentage for season: 42.7% (!) Charlotte Hornets 1996-97
(7.2/16.9)
Most 3 point attempts per game, team in a season: 45.38 Houston Rockets 2018-19
Most 3 point attempts in a game; 70 by Houston Rockets (vs. Nets) 1/16/2019

Last edited 7 months ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
Jack
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December 12, 2023 3:32 pm

Being first on the comments I want to go over something I personally think is important and that is if Monty is going to make a trade it IMO not include players like Siakam’ Anunoby Markkanen or any other high priced player. We don’t need to spent all of our assets to get one player. Sure we need to improve but at what cost? There are a lot of players who could help just as much as any of those high priced ones. IMO putting your eggs in one basket to improve this team isn’t the answer. Sure we need to trade for a player or players that would fit especially on defense but don’t sacrifice offense for a total defensive player. IMO we need improvement on the wing or power forward and a good young center to backup Sabonis. We need it improve but not risk changing the culture we have now established. We don’t need to trade what Monty considers being in his timeline. I have a couple of ideas on who we might get to fill the voids we need to become a better tean. Maybe any of you might also have some ideas. If you want to express those ideas then we can hash them over. Lastly IMO we should not trade Fox’ Sabonis’ Murray, Monk, Huerter. There are some others I would keep if possible like Jones. What are your ideas.

murraytant
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December 12, 2023 3:58 pm
Reply to  Jack

Trader Jack

you knew I would respond.

  1. I agree that there are basically 2 philosophies: 1. trade around the edges, avoid big contract guys, add to and fill in roster. That has been Monte’s MO so far (except for Sabonis). All the trade acquisitions except DS has been obtained in that way- Lyles, Sasha, Huerter, Edwards.
  2. take a big swing for the established vet/star. The teams that try to build an all-star lineup, do it in this way- Suns, LAC, LAL.

This is a matter of timing- if we get the one right guy, we should do it, and availability- i.e.Raptors want to dump Siakem, Jazz wants to dump Markenon.
Right now, Monte is in the first camp because I believe he thinks it is too early to make the second leap. Kings do have enough assets to make that type of trade, but it dissipates the bench and mid-season there is not many options for recovery. Suns made the big leap in offseason and had enough time to fill in bench. Right now, Kings could not do that. Monte does seem to do something at deadline. My preference is that unless the huge blockbuster materializes on the cheap, I would stick to option 1. At the same time, while getting an expensive contract might be off the table, the small contact guys just might not have the impact you want. This means taking a leap of faith in the middle- like Gary Trent from Raptors, Collins from SAS. Which teams are sellers, which buyers?
It would be great, along the same lines, to get a low contract guy with high potential like Tari Eason but those guys usually have a higher price than is prudent.
I do think Monte is looking- Davion seems expendable and perhaps HB but Kings need a return on that- not a couple of second rounders.
I would be cautious on the close to bust guys- like Okoro and P, Williams, although LAL did get value with Reddish
I know you have ideas and are just holding back

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 12, 2023 4:32 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Where has this notion that Utah may have Lauri on the block? Are there rumors out there because it seems to me he’s exactly the kind of guy Ainge would want to build around with all of his picks.

SavageBeast
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December 12, 2023 4:48 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think people look at how they are struggling and go, Oh yeah, they will trade their star. But they view him the way we viewed Fox before last year. He’s the main guy they are building around. They are not trading him. I say this as a long time Kings fan who has lived in Utah for 20 years.

Adamsite
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December 12, 2023 4:52 pm
Reply to  SavageBeast

That’s what I thought. A 26 year old Dirk 2.0 should be damn near untouchable as anyone in the league.

andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 5:03 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

This is exactly right. No one (maybe VD) would dump a young all-star-ish level talent, particularly on a very reasonable deal.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 12, 2023 5:57 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

There are also the vets who are on the down side; both on their skills and their contracts, but are still valuable contributors.

DeMar Derozan, Nikola Vucevic on ChiBulls come to mind. Gordon Heyward. Paul George. Pascal Siakam. Kyle Lowry. CJ McCollum. Julius Randle. Andrew Wiggins. Tobias Harris. Jrue Holliday. Mike Conley.

High Ticket contracts but shorter term commitments.

Not advocating – just adding this in as another strategy. On trade, you give up less on talent in exchange for less commitment.

Dan Houlder
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December 12, 2023 7:25 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Danny Ainge will never trade Markkanen, and if he does, his trading partner will almost certainly regret it, because Ainge almost exclusively makes heavily lopsided trades.

Jack
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December 12, 2023 5:07 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Thanks for your wise imput. I do have some ideas. For the young upcoming center to help Sbonis I might be looking at possibly Jalen Duren, Isiah Stewart, Precious Achiuwa and question marks on Naz Reid( who you know I really like) and Jonathan Issac. As a SF Adansite mentioned Shaddiq Bey, which I like. My best PW as you know and you mentioned above. Tari Eason. Of all the players above Eason is my favorite. He would really help the Kings.

notdeaaronfox
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December 12, 2023 7:52 pm

No game thread? Or is my computer just being dumb?

MillersCornrows
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December 12, 2023 7:58 pm

No game thread?

eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:01 pm

yeah, I was looking for it also. they put up a lot of content today.

notdeaaronfox
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December 12, 2023 8:01 pm

I HEARBY ESTABLISH THE IMPROMPTU GAME THREAD HERE
Geeze, feels like a back to back for sure.

eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:12 pm
Reply to  notdeaaronfox

gotta ice the fingers between games to do back-to-back threads.

notdeaaronfox
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December 12, 2023 8:06 pm

I do not like zone defense.

notdeaaronfox
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December 12, 2023 8:17 pm
Reply to  notdeaaronfox

*I do not like Sacramento Kings defense

notdeaaronfox
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December 12, 2023 8:09 pm

These refs hate Javale, BS goaltend then a nonexistent offensive foul.

kgdobter
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December 12, 2023 8:12 pm
Reply to  notdeaaronfox

Yeah, but he makes a lot of boneheaded mistakes.

notdeaaronfox
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December 12, 2023 8:13 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

Yeah, but those were two straight instances of him not.

kgdobter
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December 12, 2023 8:16 pm
Reply to  notdeaaronfox

Apparently, the refs don’t agree with you.

eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:15 pm

while Westbrook was hanging on the rim, the Kings ran down the court and got a bucket.

deltarich
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December 12, 2023 8:20 pm

Certain teams are just simply bad matchups for this roster. Clippers are another. Defense has been non existent. No excuse for them to look slower than this OLD Clippers team, who is also on the SEGABABA

Last edited 7 months ago by deltarich
eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:22 pm
Reply to  deltarich

Davion on Harden is not bad.

BeTheBall
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December 12, 2023 8:29 pm

The decision to not have a game thread was a good one. As the Kings have decided not to show up to the game. One of these days, they’ll be embarrassed about taking games off, but today will not be that day apparently.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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December 12, 2023 8:29 pm

Just checked the score for the first time…..are we just not going to be a good back-to-back team this year?

deltarich
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December 12, 2023 8:31 pm

AFter their hot shooting last night, not a total surprise to see them come out cold. Bigger issue is of course their lack of defense. Just entirely too easy on offense for the Clippers out here on every possession. Just getting to their spots with ease. Doesn’t even feel like they’re breaking a sweat on offense

BeTheBall
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December 12, 2023 8:37 pm
Reply to  deltarich

Team lacks both heart and pride. They simply crumble under sub-optimal conditions. In that sense, nothing has changed from the playoffs last year.

RPO
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RPO
December 12, 2023 8:36 pm

Just checked the score. Holy shit, why did they even bother to show up for the game.

Mike120
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December 12, 2023 8:37 pm
Reply to  RPO

Used up all their 3s yesterday.

Mike120
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December 12, 2023 8:36 pm

Good thing there’s no game thread.

RPO
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RPO
December 12, 2023 8:37 pm
Reply to  Mike120

Doesn’t look like there’s really much of a game either.

deltarich
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December 12, 2023 8:40 pm

One thing about this years team is that when they lose, they make damn sure that they LOSE. What a weird season so far. Damn near all their losses are to about 3 teams and 90% of them are usually them getting their asses beat by 20

Last edited 7 months ago by deltarich
eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:40 pm

maybe rest HB 2nd half?

BeTheBall
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December 12, 2023 8:47 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Just give Sasha the start for the 2nd half. It literally can’t hurt.

eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:43 pm

time for some Cole slaw?

RPO
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RPO
December 12, 2023 8:46 pm

I feel sorry for whoever has to write tonight’s game recap. Whoever you are, YOU are tonight’s king of kings.

deltarich
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December 12, 2023 9:09 pm

So the Kings need to at least avoid the Pelicans and Clippers in a potential playoff matchup

MillersCornrows
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December 12, 2023 9:13 pm

It could be, or not!

eddie41
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December 12, 2023 9:32 pm

Mark Jones: “sometimes you’re the wine; sometimes you’re the grape.”

RikSmits
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December 12, 2023 9:43 pm
Reply to  eddie41

And sometimes you’re a mildewed raisin.

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