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Kings’ Willie Cauley-Stein drops the quick hammer on Jahlil Okafor

Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings

Willie Cauley-Stein added to a good season on Thursday night.

The Sacramento Kings have been one of the feel-good stories of the NBA season. After coming into the year with no expectations of good play, and burdened by the weight of past draft mistakes hanging around their necks, the Kings were widely believed to be one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Fast-forward to the final month of the regular season, and the Kings are surprisingly feisty. They currently sit in ninth place in the arduous Western Conference with a 37-37 record, 4.5 games better than the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings have turned their culture around behind the combined efforts of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and 2018 No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley. Sacramento plays at a wild pace, blitzing teams straight out of the gate with athleticism and shot-making as well as the stable play of big man Willie Cauley-Stein.

Cauley-Stein is having the best season of his career in his fourth year out of Kentucky, He has delivered for the Kings, averaging 12.1 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, and 2.5 assists per game combined with career-high marks in Player Efficiency Rating (18.0) and win shares (6.2) per Basketball Reference.

WCS is also among the best in the league at hammering home vicious dunks. He came into Thursday night’s game against the Pelicans as the sixth-most prolific dunker in the NBA with 168 total jams. He added to that tally early against New Orleans with this mammoth throwdown atop the dome of Jahlil Okafor:

The Kings lost the game, 121-118, but Cauley-Stein won that interior battle rather easily.