The Sacramento Kings are one of the feel good stories thus far this season. The Kings, a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2005 – 2006 season are presently fourteen and eleven sitting fifth in the Western Conference. How they have gotten here defies conventional logic.
Generally any team in the NBA rises in the standings through improved defense. The Kings though have turned it around through better offense. Defensively the Kings have improved by giving up 2.8 points less per one hundred possessions than last year. It’s the offense though that has shown the biggest improvement and by a large margin. Offensively the Kings are scoring 115.6 points per one hundred possessions as compared to 109.9 last year.
When you dig deeper you see the individual improvement of a number of key players. De’Aaron Fox last year scored 110.1 per one hundred possessions compared to 124.9 this year. That’s not all, Kevin Huerter improve over fifteen points per one hundred possessions from last year. Domantas Sabonis is over ten. Malik Monk and Harrison Barnes have also increased their offensive production.
Are the Kings an Offensive Anomaly?
The Kings effective field goal percentage has also improved, this year it is 56.9% a vast improvement from last year’s 52.7. As you can see, the numbers all support the fact that the Kings improvement stems from increased production offensively. Another piece of the King’s improvement comes from the acquisition of offensive minded players Monk and Huerter but the improvement also comes from getting better shots as evidenced by the improvement in their points per production. Better shots improve points per possession.
Can the Kings keep this up in this unorthodox manner. Over the years teams that rise in the standings have often done so due to improvements made on the defensive end. Last year’s Cleveland Cavaliers are a good example of this. Their defense fueled their improvement. If the Kings continue winning at this pace it will be interesting. With offensive production increasing each year the new way to build a team might be through better offense.