De’Aaron Fox has had a difficult time getting into any sort of offensive rhythm this season. Through seven starts with the Sacramento Kings, the fifth-year guard has averaged 17.7 points per game on 36.4% shooting from the field and 15.4% shooting from 3-point range.
The Kings have managed to stay afloat in spite of Fox’s struggles, but they’d probably be an above .500 team if Fox was his usual self on offense. For example, on Tuesday, the Kings lost to the No. 1 seed Utah Jazz 119-113. Had Fox just scored what he averages for his career, it would have been a closer game than it was — but he didn’t.
Instead, Fox went 0-8 from the field in the first half and finished the game shooting 4-15 (26.7%) from the field, including 0-4 from behind the arc. He’s clearly in a rut, but his teammates haven’t lost faith his abilities as a player.
After Tuesday night’s game, Tyrese Haliburton said he’s confident that Fox will breakout of the slump he’s in sooner rather than later.
“He’s fine,” Haliburton said. “He’s missing some shots, but that’s part of it: we all go through these little slumps, it happens to everybody. I think it’s being made a bigger deal than it is. I’m not concerned by it by any means. It’s just a slump right now. But we’re his teammates and we’re going to help him get out of it.
“We came here and he didn’t play very well and we still almost beat one of the best teams in the west. It’s blown out of proportion in my eyes.”
Haliburton’s probably right: this is just a slump for Fox — a slump they’ve managed to scrape together three wins during — but when Fox gets out of it matter for the Kings and their hopes of ending their 15-year playoff drought. The Western Conference is stacked with talent and the wins they’ve let slip away in large part due to Fox’s struggles will matter at the end of the season if those struggles persist.
For the Kings’ sake, let’s hope Wednesday night is a return to normalcy for Swipa.