The Sacramento Kings had a curious offseason to say the least.
It all started with the firing of Dave Joerger and hiring of Luke Walton. The front office and Joerger had a difference of opinion on playing time for their young guys, Marvin Bagley in particular.
Then came the odd signings. Paying guys like Richaun Holmes, Dewayne Dedmon, Corey Joseph, Trevor Ariza, Harrison Barnes, and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Not that those guys aren't good, but they all got their contracts before their budding superstar in Buddy Hield.
Instead of worrying about getting accustomed to each other on the court, the Kings were already met with distractions when Hield came out to the media and began bad-mouthing the front office. And for good reason.
But he eventually got paid (less than what I think he could've gotten next summer in free agency) and everyone was happy again.
But having everyone on the floor wasn't enough to get them out to the start they would've liked.
After showing promise last season, the Kings had expectations from many as a team that could possibly contend for the 8 seed in the Western Conference. But an 0-5 start, and injuries to Marvin Bagley and De'Aaron Fox made it look like the season was already a lost cause.
They were allowing 115 points per game while committing over 17 turnovers per game. They were at the bottom of the league in terms of Fastbreak points, and they were getting inconsistent play from guys like Hield, Fox, and Bogdanovic.
Luke Walton looked overwhelmed and already had people wondering how long he would last in Sacramento. But knowing how much the front office has invested in him, another change at the coaching position shouldn't be expected.
They scored over 100 points just twice during that stretch. Their offense was abysmal.
But all streaks come to an end. The Kings grinded out their first win with a 102-101 home victory over a very good Utah Jazz team. And that taste of victory may have been all they needed to get going.
The Kings have won five of their last seven games, with their two losses coming on the road against the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers. Those two losses were by a combined six points. And their most recent victory was against the Boston Celtics, that ended their ten game winning streak.
So the question is, have the Sacramento Kings started to figure it out?
During this stretch, they have scored 110 points per game, allowed just 104 points per game, and are committing 4 turnovers less per game than they were during that five game losing streak.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has seen an uptick in minutes per game from 24 to 29, and his scoring has gone from 9 points per game to 18. Buddy Hield was shooting just 35% from the field, but shot 46% over this last stretch.
It's possible that the first five games of the season were an anomaly and this team we've seen over this recent stretch will be more similar to what we'll see the rest of the season.
A few questions still remain. Can they maintain their hot shooting we have seen from them in these last seven games? The Kings have shot an Efficient Field Goal Percentage of 56% compared to 47% in the first five games.
How will they integrate Marvin Bagley and De'Aaron Fox into the lineup without messing with the flow of this current offense?
Will the front office stay out of it's own way and allow Luke Walton and the coaching staff do what is best for the team?
At 5-7 they have found themselves right back in the mix of the way-to-early playoff standings. And Kings fans can breathe a little bit easier after that horrific start.
They’ve taken on the Benjamin Button approach to this season. They started off dead, and now they’re showing some signs of life and youth. Maybe by the end of the season they won’t be so curious after all.
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