With six games of the 2021-22 NBA season in the books, the Sacramento Kings own a 3-3 record. Tim Maxwell joins the show (#MaxwellMondays) to talk through what we have seen throughout these early showings.
We start with the handful of offensive lulls that the Kings have been experiencing. There's the 22 point first quarter in Dallas, 19 points in the fourth vs. Golden State, 21 in the closing quarter vs. Utah, along with a few other standout moments. We break down what is going wrong during these damaging runs.
The three-point shooting was a big focal point for Tim and me in this one, backed up by some intriguing numbers we both found. You can listen in for the specifics, but the point is that the Sacramento Kings currently have just two above-average three-point shooters this season - and they certainly are not creating easy looks from beyond the arc for the other guys.
How much of this revolves around De'Aaron Fox's lackluster performance? Surprisingly, we present numbers that show that Fox's gameplay and attempts don't vary much from years prior. That turns the question to: Is Fox's issue as simple as shots haven't been falling?
Tim and I explain why we spend so much of the conversation focusing on the offense, even though the team currently possesses the 8th best offensive rating. Their defense may be improved, but it's still a clear weakness as they rank 25th in defensive rating.
The Sacramento Kings are going to win games by being a high-caliber offense, and they cannot afford to have the lapses we have seen too often to start the season considering their defensive talents.
Should Marvin Bagley be getting minutes? We are sitting here talking about offensive lulls with Bagley (a sporadically impactful offensive player) sitting right there to take minutes from Maurice Harkless or the backup bigs.
Moving on from the offense, we dive into the stellar play of Davion Mitchell with his first handful of NBA games now in the record books. Tim has some outstanding stats to back up the idea that rookie is already one of the NBA's elite perimeter defenders. I touch on how impressed I have been with his offensive versatility as well.
Tristan Thompson had a significant contribution against Dallas, just don't look at his advanced numbers until a few more games have taken place - seriously, they are horrific. Alex Len, the other backup center option, was a factor against New Orleans. We speak on that pairing, the ideal moments to utilize each one, their early performances, and how much better Richaun Holmes is.
We saw a four-guard lineup of Fox-Haliburton-Davis-Mitchell-Thompson in the third quarter of the Dallas matchup. How did they perform and what are our thoughts on lineups like this moving forward?
A big focal point of the offseason was the improved depth of Sacramento compared to last season, but we point out how that has yet to present itself early on.
We are always open to suggested topics moving forward so please don't hesitate to comment with any questions you'd want us to cover in future episodes! I also greatly appreciate any sort of feedback or opinions you may have for the show.
Overtime Question: What is your favorite Halloween movie? (Please, send more OT questions our way... I need help)
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Good point at the 10 min mark. More catch and shoot 3s can be increased easily by just pulling the trigger on corner 3s.
Not just singling out Tyrese, but many times he gives up an open corner 3 just because a defender runs at him. Barnes does it a bit as well. That corner 3 is the best shot they have. Also, Fox needs to stop killing the ball movement and settling for a pull up 3, catch and attack.
Just gotta “watch the tape”
Inconsistencies have the Kings at .500 early on. Is it too early for the glass half empty narrative? Headline could also be: improved defense has Kings at .500 early on. The Kings have a few problems. They need to connect more from the three point line and they need to cut down on game changing turnovers. Right now, they don’t look like a team that’s going to be making any noise in the late rounds of the playoffs. That said, they’re better than last year. They didn’t quit against Dallas. They’re 3-3 playing mostly playoff teams and mostly on the road. Now of course if the Dallas game is the beginning on an 8 game losing streak, all bets are off. For now, I’m betting it won’t be.
My concern would be this team’s penchant for playing to (just below) the level of its competition. So it will indeed be a test when the schedule flips to games that appear more winnable.
This right here.
For almost sixteen years now.
Yep. Agreed Rob. That, and not showing up ready/disappearing from games.
Winning one game then thinking you are the best in the NBA
When we’re just not a very good team, it’s easy to view many games as not winnable. Until they can do something at a more elite level as a team, we will not have many winnable games. Whether it’s 3 point shooting, rebounding, etc. They have to find a skill set to do well. Having a defensive stopper or two is only part of the equation until we can close a game properly.
Wins = great
Start a losing streak = Lose Walton GTFU, also great
We should be 6-0 that’s all I’m saying.
The other teams have a say in that as well.
He was literally forced to start for three years. Freely or forced he has earned his spot on the bench.
Mmmm, I like that idea. The Kings are in Utah tonight. They could set Marvin free in the suburbs before hopping on the plane.
“Where did Marvin go?”
“We need to watch the tape”