The Sacramento Kings are halfway through the 2018-19 season. It’s been a season that’s far exceeded all expectations. The team is young, fast, and fun. Frankly, it’s pretty confusing. It flies in the face of everything I know about the Sacramento Kings after a decade plus of dashed dreams and broken spirits. With the first half in the books, let’s revisit some numbers.
That’s the Kings win percentage. That’s no typo. The Kings are 20-21. 20 wins at the halfway point! That’s on pace to be a 40 win team, and the Kings have had an absolutely brutal schedule in the first half.
The Kings have sustained their incredible pace this season, and are the second fastest team in the NBA. But unlike the slightly-faster Atlanta Hawks, the Kings are fast and good.
The Kings are 4th in the NBA in points per game. There’s a reason this team is nicknamed The Scores. The Kings play fast and get buckets. It’s a fun brand of basketball.
As of this writing, those are the respective rankings for Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox in points per game. Last season the Kings had nobody in the top 50.
Those are the respective 3 point percentages for Buddy Hield and Nemanja Bjelica. Bjelly’s spacing has been key to opening up the floor for the Kings, and Buddy is establishing himself as one of the league’s elite three point shooters. Only Stephen Curry makes more threes at a higher percentage.
The respective 3 points percentages for De’Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson. Fox’s shooting was a huge concern entering the season, but he’s shown the ability to knock down the three. He’s still streaky, but he’s shooting a very respectable percentage from deep. Jackson also struggled from three last season, and began the season shooting 20% from three in October. Since then he’s been lights out from deep and is becoming the three-and-D player we’d hoped he could become.
While we give him a lot of grief for his lapses, Willie Cauley-Stein is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game. That’s a career high for Willie, and nearly two more rebounds per game than he collected last season. Willie has also increased his scoring per game slightly while reducing his usage rate, increasing his scoring efficiency, and reducing his turnovers.
18, 7.3, 3.5, 1.8
That’s De’Aaron Fox’s stat line at the halfway mark. His 7.3 assists per game place him 10th in the NBA. His 1.8 steals per game are 9th in the NBA. It’s been a breakout year for Fox so far.