Without a doubt one of the best things to come out of this season has been the emergence of Buddy Hield as a legitimate star on offense. Buddy has improved his game each season, but this season it’s finally coming together and he’s leading the team in scoring and on pace to have one of the best shooting seasons in NBA history.
It’s Buddy’s shooting that opens up the rest of his game, and that of his teammates. Wherever Buddy Hield is on the floor, he’s a threat that has to be respected. He’s making a ridiculous 45.5% of this threes on 7.4 attempts a game, and a big reason for that is the work the Kings do to get him open looks.
Buddy Hield has possibly my stat of the year:— statcenter (@statcenter) January 23, 2019
Hield has taken 208 wide-open 3PA this season, most in the NBA. (That’s a credit to both him and @swipathefox.)
But he’s made those wide-open looks at 52.4%. The other guys in the top 10 have combined to shoot them at 38%. https://t.co/d0ZLEcNZ1h
Buddy Hield is hitting open threes at a higher rate than most guys shoot at all. I can’t remember the last time the Kings had a player where it looked like every time he puts it up it’s going in, but it probably was Peja or Kevin Martin, and Buddy is shooting better than either of those guys ever did.
The problem of course is that other teams know this too, and have started to put the clamps down. As we’ve seen on this road trip, teams like the Nets and Raptors have stuck long, rangy wings on Buddy to prevent him from getting open looks. It’s at these times that the Kings need to work extra hard to try to get Buddy open, because when he is, he’s the most reliable and efficient option the team has.