Articles | Commentary | Numbers

Why aren’t the Kings shooting more threes?

After an preseason flurry of threes, the Kings rank near the bottom of the league in long range attempts.

In the preseason the Sacramento Kings averaged 42.8 three point attempts per game. That mark tied the Kings for 5th in the NBA, and the preseason included multiple games in which the Kings attempted more than 50 threes. On the increased volume, Walton said in the preseason:

"I'm OK with the number being there if we're getting them when we're pushing the ball," said head coach Luke Walton, referencing that the team is "looking to attack the paint and then kick out."

And yet now, roughly 20% into the season, the Kings are averaging a paltry 31.5 three per game, 24th in the NBA. That mark is even worse than last season's 34.9.

So why are the Kings shooting fewer threes?

It certainly isn't because the Kings can't make threes. The Kings as a team are averaging 37.3% from beyond the arc, 10th best in the NBA. So we find the Kings shooting a below average number despite an above average accuracy.

Some if it likely comes from Marvin Bagley taking over Nemanja Bjelica's role. Bjelly shot 4.4 threes per game last year, while Bagley is averaging 2.7. The Kings also lost Bogdan Bogdanovic's 7.2 threes per game, while Tyrese Haliburton (despite his accuracy from long range) only takes 4.7 threes per game so far.

One concern is that this appears to be part of a larger trend with Luke Walton. His Lakers teams never ranked higher than 15th in the NBA in threes, but in his defense those Lakers teams were also terrible at making threes. Taking fewer had some merit.

Whether the dip is caused by personnel changes or by scheme, the lack of threes is a glaring opportunity for the Kings to improve their efficiency. Scoring hasn't been a big concern for the Kings in the early going, the struggles have been far more on the defensive end, but this still stands out as a confusing trend.

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Want-to-be-gm
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January 26, 2021 12:01 pm

Tough article to follow at times. Are we saying that taking more 3’s is a good thing? What’s the point? Clearly the lineup has changed, no Bogi and a greater emphasis to go to the post with Bagley playing more minutes. Another thing, I’d be careful with some of these numbers at this point. The sample sizes are too small to draw any conclusions or even to claim trends. Also the correlations that are being implied are nonsensical. It used to be, we are not playing with enough pace a difficult stat to really nail down. That aside there’s no correlation with pace and winning just like there’s no correlation to taking 3’s and winning.

Two things more relevant, one perhaps the team just isn’t talented to enough to win more, and two, maybe 3 point attempts are down because we aren’t shooting them at a high percentage somthe offense is looking elsewhere. Bottom line, just don’t see the point of this article. Sorry.

WizsSox
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January 26, 2021 12:48 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

I for one in a time when there are no games, appreciate that this website tries to put out content and engage the readers for 5 minutes. That’s not an easy task each day and Kings Herald has done a great job of it so far.

They pointed out a stat/trend…draw your own conclusions if you want. I’m not saying article is bad or pointless like you, but I don’t think any of us bat 1.000 in life. Bottom line, no real need to be a D about it if you didn’t like the article. Like, what’s the point? Unless you see a larger trend you are dissatisfied with when accessing a FREE website.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
Want-to-be-gm
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January 26, 2021 2:17 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

If you don’t want comments on the articles, just have an open site to comment on anything about the Kings. I just didn’t see any point in the article.

WizsSox
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January 26, 2021 4:35 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

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ZillersCat
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January 27, 2021 10:08 am
Reply to  WizsSox

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TheGrantNapear
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January 26, 2021 1:25 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

This wasn’t really an article and wasn’t meant to be one. Just a topic thrown out there for fans to discuss on a slow day with the Kings not having played a game in some time.

Carl
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January 27, 2021 8:20 am
Reply to  Greg

I don’t see where the criticism has any merit at all. We’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season. We’re certainly allowed to discuss wins and losses at this point, so I don’t see any reason we can’t discuss team performance at the same time.

I wasn’t aware that threes had dropped as much as they did and I think it’s a perfectly valid topic of discussion at this point in the season. Obviously, its not the team’s biggest problem, but that doesn’t automatically mean every article must be about defense.

Let’s remember the SacBee Jason Jones era, when a game article was often just a box score transcript.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl
Maximus
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January 27, 2021 11:37 am
Reply to  Greg

The team’s offense is slightly better than last season. It could be even better had Buddy had an average year statistically.

The defense is historically bad and we don’t have an article examining various aspects of the defensive failures. Here is a low hanging fruit: why is this team so bad at forcing TOV? The previous three years, they were in the top 10 and this year, bottom 5.

Greg, I am not criticizing the article. The article is fine. But we should have articles similar to this for defense.

Want-to-be-gm
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January 27, 2021 3:21 pm
Reply to  Greg

Fair enough, I just was trying to figure out what position you were taking. Should we be shooting more 3’s? Do you have a particular issue with the schemes? Do you question the lineups Walton is playing? Is there a correlation between 3 point volume and winning. I think the point you just made about the GM saying more 3 point shooting that hasn’t happened is interesting but it wasn’t mentioned in the article. Hey you have a dozen or so supporters who follow you to a new site and jump to your defense so kudos to you.

aplumley
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January 26, 2021 12:07 pm

I don’t really care about the number of 3s. Their offensive efficiency is 11th in the league. Not terrible. If more 3s improved that, sure. But really their biggest opportunity for improvement is on the defensive side where they rank dead last, and it ain’t close. Starting two terrible defenders might be the crux of that issue. I get that every article can’t be about the defense though.

Want-to-be-gm
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January 26, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  aplumley

Agree with you which goes back to, what’s the point of the article.

Marty
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January 26, 2021 12:53 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

To generate discussion among those who agree and disagree.

RikSmits
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January 26, 2021 1:11 pm
Reply to  Marty

What’s the point in that?

TheGrantNapear
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January 26, 2021 1:26 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Lol

Marty
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January 26, 2021 3:45 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Rik your point serves no point.

RikSmits
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January 26, 2021 11:01 pm
Reply to  Marty

THAT’S THE POINT!

BigDrewbot
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January 26, 2021 5:02 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

where are the three points in that?

Otis
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January 26, 2021 3:04 pm
Reply to  aplumley

If your defensive efficiency is dead last (not just in the NBA, but universe wide), maybe 11th just isn’t good enough.

andy_sims
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January 26, 2021 12:18 pm

Those are good points about losing a lot of attempts due to the Serbs not being in a position to get their typical numbers.

Ty Ballgame should probably make more attempts, although to his credit, he doesn’t force bad shots. It probably makes sense to run more sets designed to get him good looks, but I think we all know where good sense goes to die around here.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 26, 2021 12:30 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Ty’s release on the ball is an issue no one discusses. If Hali has time to set up and release, he’s golden. Good man on defenders will take that 1 or 1.5 seconds away from him. I see this as reason he doesn’t take more threes. Just watch film on him. Hali doesn’t have nowhere the catch and release speed of Hield, Klay, Doncic, Curry, Lillard, Trey, etc when releasing the ball. If he’s open, has a gap or a defender slags off he can get those. Good defensive teams will take that away from him. That doesn’t mean he can be effective other ways. Hali has a very good offensive arsenal.

Want-to-be-gm
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January 26, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

That is a great point/observation but the only flaw in his game I see so far.

andy_sims
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January 26, 2021 1:02 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

In my defense, when I said that sets should be run to get him good looks, I didn’t specify what I meant by it.

To my experience, a good look when taking a shot has the shooter at least reasonably open, or in other words, there isn’t a good man-on defender in his face, or in a position to reasonably block the shot.

I’d also like to clarify that I didn’t mention anything about Ty having a particularly quick release, and will happily concede that his isn’t as fast as the players you’ve mentioned. It’s probably a coincidence that all of them have been all-stars, but again, I am forced to admit that Haliburton has never once been named to an all-star team, most likely because of his shot mechanics, percentages be damned.

So to reiterate, my contention is that the team should run more sets that are likely to result in Ty getting a good shot away, and not ones that are designed to have him end up with a defender in his face while he forces a bad shot.

If you have any questions at all, I’m available all afternoon.

Want2win
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January 26, 2021 8:42 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Im surprised someone hasn’t accused randive as being anti-Serbian. Bogdan is gone, bjelica has been benched and we didn’t draft Doncic who Is of Serbian descent.

LongLivePeteCarril
January 26, 2021 11:17 pm
Reply to  Want2win

??

If Ranadive were anti-Serbian he wouldn’t have shelled out like 50 million for the Bogi/Belly/Vlade trifecta in the first place. Vivek is a lot of things, but I daresay racist is not one of them.

Carl
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January 27, 2021 8:24 am

Peja too. Want2win – you’re better than that.

krswin
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January 27, 2021 10:32 am
Reply to  Want2win

It’s a tough crowd around here.

Henry
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January 26, 2021 12:57 pm

– Bogi didn’t play during preseason either so that doesn’t account for the discrepancy.
– Buddy is averaging about the same attempts (around 10) pre vs regular season so he’s been pretty consistent.
– Kings averaged 30.7 threes with Belly in the lineup and are actually up to 32.8 since he’s started to rack up DNPs so you can’t pin it on Belly’s absence either.

So the two reasons I can see that account for the preseason threes are that Fox averaged almost 7 attempts per game in preseason but is down to 4.3 in regular season. And Kyle Guy was averaging 5 attempts per game in preseason but has not gotten much playing time in the regular season..

Last edited 1 year ago by Henry
RORDOG
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January 26, 2021 12:57 pm

I don’t want to spend too much time digging into the numbers, but it feels like the Kings are trying to maximizing their FGA in the paint this season. As of now, it’s kind of paid off. They are technically more proficient shooting from <8 feet (1.126 points per FGA) than they are on 3PAs (1.125 per 3PA). That doesn’t even include the advantage of how shots in the paint put the opposing team in foul trouble.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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January 26, 2021 1:03 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

You’re Mike Bratz. Aren’t you supposed to be the numbers guy?

😛

RORDOG
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January 26, 2021 1:30 pm
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I’m too busy researching Gamestop stock prices

Timmy_13
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January 27, 2021 7:31 am
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🚀 🚀 🌙

SmoothSactown
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January 27, 2021 1:40 pm
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💎🙏

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 26, 2021 1:40 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I think you hit in on the head. Last season the Kings really had no interior game with Holmes and Nemanja. It was really just a lobs and put backs for Holmes.

This season, however, Bagley is getting a lot more touches, and most are in the paint. I’d also add that Barnes is getting deliveries in the post as well.

It think it just comes down to the strength, or lack thereof, of different lineups.

Last edited 1 year ago by Adamsite
Marty
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January 26, 2021 12:57 pm

Article summary; It’s Bagley and Walton’s fault. 😜

CoreyBrewersD
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January 26, 2021 1:26 pm
Reply to  Marty

I feel it is Vivek and Vlade…. why not it usually is those 4!

TheGrantNapear
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January 26, 2021 1:28 pm
Reply to  Marty

Which by extension means it’s Vlade’s fault which by extension means it’s Vivek’s fault which by extension means it’s the Magoof’s fault. In some way or the other it’s also Grant’s fault, douches have to be held accountable.

Last edited 1 year ago by TheGrantNapear
CoreyBrewersD
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January 26, 2021 1:24 pm

Back to the three point trend, I agree it is probably too early to draw any real conclusions, real conclusions can be drawn in June. However just for fun I think that maybe it is you have more offensively talented bigs available. The efficiency could be that they aren’t chuckin’ just to chuck, a good thing. Hali’s shots fall as has been stated when he is OPEN as in very open. That he gets that open is either rookie disrespect college scouting or good ball movement. Most likely a little of everything

Last edited 1 year ago by CoreyBrewersD
TheGrantNapear
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January 26, 2021 3:06 pm

Pels reportedly open to trading Ball or Redick.
I’ve floated the Buddy to Pels idea given their lack of shooting and floor spacing for Zion and Ingram. Griffin is sitting on a ton of picks. I know Buddy’s value isn’t crazy high but there’s a potential trade to be made here if Pels offer draft compensation.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 26, 2021 3:21 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I agree. I just posted something similar in the forums. It also appears that the Pels and Warriors are talking an Oubre trade. I the Warriors somehow land Ball in an Oubre package, the Kings are asleep at the wheel. McNair had better get active.

Jman1949
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January 26, 2021 3:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

According to Sean Deveney of Forbes, McNair has shopped nearly everyone on the roster except Fox and Haliburton, but has not received much interest. Here’s a quote from the article with regard to Buddy and Barnes:

The Kings have sent out feelers on the two guys at the top of the salary chart€”guard Buddy Hield ($24 million this year) and forward Harrison Barnes ($22 million)€”but have gotten little traction on potential deals for either. 

Adamsite
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January 26, 2021 3:36 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Maybe it is because they are overpaid? comment image

Otis
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January 26, 2021 5:58 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That pesky McNair, he must be asking for actual talent in return.

Carl
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January 27, 2021 8:29 am
Reply to  Otis

I’m not even sure McNair could get salary relief for those two at this point.

Carl
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January 27, 2021 8:27 am
Reply to  Adamsite

This.

J-Fresh
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January 27, 2021 12:03 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Closer to the deadline, changes will occur. All those teams in playoff hunt will be hungry to make small increments to improve. Our vets can do that.

Whether the changes are positive or not for the Kings is another discussion (insert emoji which I don’t know how to add hahaha)

TheGrantNapear
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January 26, 2021 5:22 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Perhaps a 3 way trade where Buddy lands on the Warriors. That’d be interesting. Imagine the floor spacing with Steph, Klay and Buddy. Yikes.

CoreyBrewersD
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January 26, 2021 8:46 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Why do you hate the Warriors?
They like high BBIQ guys, could you imagine Dray getting into Buddy on D? He wouldn’t demand a trade he go to his locker and cry!
I also read they are looking at Oubre to the Pels for Reddick and Ball, Reddick is cheaper and smarter than Buddy FO SHO

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