Coming into the season the Sacramento Kings were one of the young exciting teams in the NBA. Expectations increased for the Kings since they finish ninth in the western conference last year. Due to the NBA’s newfound parity, a playoff berth seemed viable for the Kings this year.
Furthermore, with the Golden State Warriors seemingly out to the playoff picture with Stephen Curry’s injury, opened another playoff spot.
Due to the new expectations entering the season, the slow start to the season disappointed and surprised many fans. The Kings started the season 0-5 losing to the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Charlotte Hornets.
What was alarming is that the Kings lost by 29 points or more to both the Jazz and Suns. However, were still in the early part of the season and the Kings have time to turn things around.
The number one problem with Sacramento at the moment is they are in the bottom third in the NBA in almost all offensive categories. Currently, Sacramento is 27th in points per game averaging 101 points per game. Meanwhile, Sacramento was a top ten scoring team last year averaging 114 points per game.
In addition, to ranking low in points per game the Kings are 26th in the league in assists, 25th in field goal percentage and 23rd in free throw percentage.
A possible solution to these offensive woes would be the return of starting power forward Marvin Bagley III. Bagley is current out 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury he suffered against the Suns on opening night. The young star averaged 15 points per game last season while primarily coming off the bench.
With elevated playing time and now with a year of experience Bagley was expected to be a, if not the, primary scorer for the Kings. Hopefully, when Bagley returns the Kings offense can stabilize and become as dynamic as it was last season.
Kings are apart of wild NBA season thus far
Taking a step back we must all realize it has only been seven games. Sacramento is only one of the teams that is in a surprising stature. Other teams are also either overachieving or underachieving through these first seven games.
For example, look at the Suns, they are 5-2 and second in the western conference. At no point during the season did anyone expect to see the Suns in this position. Or how about the Portland Trail Blazers who are 3-4 and tenth in the western conference now.
As the season progress Sacramento will find their stride. Not to mention, the Kings have a new coach in Luke Walton who needs to get to know this team to establish his system, and rotations.
After their win against the Knicks Walton said “When they play loose, they’re a lot of fun to coach, they’re a lot of fun to watch. We can score the ball.”
The Kings are on the right path as of late winning their last two games over the Jazz and New York Knicks. We will see if they can extend their win streak when they face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.