Through 15 games, the Sacramento Kings, statistically speaking, have the best offense in NBA history.
Yes, you read that correctly. Ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Kings’ 118.6 offensive rating is the highest of any team ever.
This offensive dominance is led by burgeoning star point guard De’Aaron Fox, who is breaking down the defense at will and consistently knocking down jumpers, and offensive hub Domantas Sabonis who is opening up the court for shooters with his screening and passing.
The Kings have found an offensive formula that is humming on all cylinders— at all time levels.
The best part of this is that, barring injuries, this feels like a sustainable offensive formula that will continue to be the team’s calling card. Sacramento has no bad answers on offense, and the puzzle pieces are connecting on that end of the court.
The Kings currently have the best offensive rating by any team since the NBA merger.— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 22, 2022
Beam Team. pic.twitter.com/kr3CQbT7jT
In years past, teams could get away with sagging off of De’Aaron Fox because he couldn’t knock down the three ball as efficiently as you would hope, and the Kings didn’t have the shooting or spacing to kick the ball out to if Fox drove to the rim.
As a defense, how do you guard this team? If you pack the paint to stop Fox’s drives, you are asking to get roasted by the Sabonis’ dribble handoff game, and if you take that away, you are asking to get bludgeoned at the rim by Fox and others.
Speaking of Sabonis’ dribble handoff game, that has been one of the pillars of Sacramento’s dominant offense. Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, Fox and others’ life has gotten way easier getting to play the two-man game with Sabonis. The Kings’ guards are constantly in motion and Sabonis is finding them on cuts or screening them open shots.
There is close to zero fat in the Kings’ offense. They are near the bottom of the league in long twos attempted, number one in true shooting percentage, number one in effective field goal percentage and top three in assist-to-turnover ratio.
After Boston's loss last night, the Sacramento Kings -- that's the Kings franchise located in Sacramento, California -- have the No. 1 offense in the NBA.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 22, 2022
In plain English, the Kings are a dominant offensive force in just about any metric you want to use.
This has to be music to the ears of general manager Monte McNair’s who cut his teeth working under Daryl Morey with the Houston Rockets. The Kings are playing an analytically driven style of basketball, and it’s working.
They are top five in three-point rate and towards the bottom of the league in mid-range twos attempted, which analytically is the worst shot in basketball.
Looking up and down the roster, it is hard to find what, outside of injuries, is going to fall off for the team’s offense.
Kevin Huerter probably won’t finish the season shooting 50 percent from three, but you would also expect Harrison Barnes to shoot better than the 26.5 percent he has averaged thus far from deep. If anything, the offense could even improve if Barnes and Keegan Murray start to get a bit more game-to-game consistency.
To win six in a row and nine out of 11, they’ve had to be historically great on offense because their defense remains among the worst in the league. But that’s an article for another time when the Kings aren’t on a six-game winning streak!
Is this formula of historically great offense and bottom-of-the-league defense conducive to deep playoff runs? Probably not, but at this point in the season, let’s enjoy the dominant offensive display Sacramento is putting on a nightly basis.
If Sacramento continues to be THIS historically great on offense, then there will absolutely be playoff basketball in Golden 1 Center come this spring.