Kings On Pace To Be Historically Bad Shooting Team

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 18: Jimmer Fredette #7 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over George Hill #3 of the Indiana Pacers at Power Balance Pavilion on January 18, 2012 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As Jerry Reynolds likes to say, the goal of a basketball game is to put the ball in the basket. If you can't do that, you're not going to win many games. The Kings have been atrocious at putting the ball in the basket, shooting just 39.0% from the field and 25.8% from three point range through the first 15 games of the season. Those are terrible numbers, but just how terrible are they?

Well since the advent of the three-point line in the 1979-80 season, no team has shot below 40% from the floor for the season or 26% from three. The Kings are currently beneath both marks (H/T Alex Kramers). The lockout definitely has been a factor, as you can see by the fact that of the four teams just ahead of the Kings, three of them (the Bulls, Hawks and Nets) were from the shortened 1998-99 season, and the other (the Wizards) is from this year.

UPDATE: I had originally put that the Kings were on pace to be the worst shooting three point team at all time as well. I was mistaken. The Kings, while bad from three, are not nearly the worst, as many teams struggled to adapt to the line in its first 10 years. This year's Lakers are actually worse from three than the Kings at 25%, but both those teams are shooting worse from 3 than any team has since the 1990-91 season.

On an individual basis, Jason Thompson is the only Kings player shooting well, currently at 56.3%. The next highest is DeMarcus Cousins at 42.3%. Six Kings are shooting below 40% and one under 30%. From three, Marcus Thornton is shooting a team high 34.2% (a career low) and Isaiah Thomas is the next highest at 28.1%.

Considering these numbers, it's kind of amazing to think that the Kings have managed to win 5 games. They've done so by getting to the line (3rd most FTA in the league) and rebounding their own misses (1st in the league).

Just based on historical numbers for most of these players, I don't think this shooting slump can continue to sustain itself over the course of the remaining 51 games. But if it does, every game will be a battle merely to stay competitive.

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