Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to welcome Vince Miracle to the Sactown Royalty staff, where he will also be hosting a podcast about the Kings after previously hosting his own independent “The Kings Court” podcast and YouTube show for nearly a decade. In his debut editorial, Vince shares why he’s not concerned about the Kings’ poor start, and the reasons for hope he’s seen.
The Sacramento Kings 2022-23 season is now underway with the team starting off an unfortunate 0-3. Hopes were high heading into this season (at least locally) following a full offseason with the pairing of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox, along with the acquisitions of Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, and No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray.
And following a championship run with the Golden State Warriors last season, the Kings’ biggest acquisition of the offseason was arguably their new head coach Mike Brown. For a franchise in need of leadership, defensive improvement and true development of talent, Brown seems poised to make an impact right away.
Or so we thought?
It’s early and the team still looks, well, the same. Defense is still a major issue, they disappear in the 3rd quarter, and the team still doesn’t know how to close. Questions are already beginning to swirl around the fans in Sacramento:
“Can the Kings be good in defense team with Sabonins?”
“Will they trade Harrison Barnes for Jae Crowder?”
“Is De’Aaron Fox a No. 1 option on a winning team?”
While all of those questions are reasonable to ask, the timing of them feels premature. Let’s not forget that we are only 12 quarters into the new season! No one would have guessed that after the first week of the season the rebuilding Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers would be tied for first place in the Western Conference. Nor did anyone think Sixers would start 0-3 before winning their fourth game.
It’s easy to notice the negatives. It’s also good to point out room for improvement. There’s a thin line between doing both of these things without having it drastically change your point of view of the entire season.
Because there are some good things to take away from these first 3 games. Let’s dig into a few.
De’Aaron Fox is going fast
It’s become a norm to see the speedy point guard start off a new season a bit slow. However, this year is completely different, as Fox is averaging 31.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 7 assists, three 3-pointers and 1.3 steals. The turnovers are the biggest need to address for him early on, but it’s clear Mike Brown is trusting Fox with the ball in his hands, and Fox is taking advantage.
The team has shooting
Once the last season came to an end, and with Buddy Hield now in Indiana, the team had a major hole to address next to their one-two punch in the shooting department. It seems pretty clear that with Kevin Huerter and Keegan Murray the shooting for the Kings has been addressed.
Mike Brown is making players take accountability.
Over the preseason, multiple practices and many interviews it’s been refreshing to hear the players talk about the weaknesses that we as media, and as fans, discuss. It shows A) that they notice it and B) that they want to address it. This was showcased even more so with Fox’s interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic talking about how he wants to guard the best player on every team and still do what he does offensively. I mean look at his 3-point shooting. Give the young man credit for putting in the work.
Look, I’m not here to keep your hopes alive, although I do know how this is coming across. All I’m here saying is that the team has only played 12 quarters, 36 minutes, and 3 games together. Building an identity, system and a foundation for the future takes time. You can’t rush “the process.” You either believe in what Mike Brown and the team Monte McNair has built or you don’t.
But regardless of your stance, I don’t believe you should change your opinion based on these 12 quarters.