Sactown Sports predicts the second half of the Sacramento Kings season
Through 42 games, the Sacramento Kings sit atop the Pacific Division and, as of Tuesday, Jan. 17, the 4th seed of the Western Conference standings.
Exactly where we all predicted, right?
Well, not exactly.
But let’s not dwell on what we predicted back in August. It’s time to look ahead. Here’s what the team at Sactown Sports thinks about the season so far and what they’re expected about coming up.
What are the biggest surprises of the Sacramento Kings seasons so far?
Carmichael Dave: Halfway through the year, I’d say there have been many surprises with the Kings. But let’s use the K.I.S.S. method and point out the obvious, the win total.
And sure, the list of surprises could also include:
- Mike Brown’s culture change
- Malik Monk’s impact
- De’Aaron Fox unlocked
- Domantas Sabonis turning into Diet Jokic
- Keegan Murray’s sharpshooting
There are multiple mini-surprises, and yes, some if not most, were also not shocking. But to put it all together in the same season? That translates into a legit playoff contender.
Jason Ross: My biggest surprise of this season so far is just how good this offense has been. We knew that they had addressed the shooting but they can score in a variety of ways. This season they are the number one offense in the NBA. They regularly shoot 50% or better, they are one of the best assist teams in the league and they can shoot it, too. They set their franchise record for made 3’s and might break that again soon. They have improved their free throw shooting and have several players on the roster capable of scoring 30 or more points. Offense, offense, offense!!!!
Nick Cattles: The use of Chimezie Metu and Trey Lyles as small-ball fives. Expected either Richaun Holmes or Alex Len to be able to do enough to back up Domas. It’s left the team desperate at the backup center spot.
Frankie Cartoscelli: The wins. Coming into this season, I don’t think many expected the Kings to be this good. Sacramento is already closing in on its win total from last season (30), and the season is only halfway over. Keeping that momentum will be important as the Western Conference will likely remain a tight race, but the Kings have the talent to make some serious noise this spring.
What would you like to see the Kings do in the second half of the year?
Carmichael Dave: For the rest of the year, I’d like to see more defensive consistency. I’d like to see them “play with their food” less. Maybe most importantly, a few more signature wins against legit title contenders.
Time to see if these guys are an early feel-good story or if they’re here to stay. I believe the latter.
Jason Ross: Keep improving on defense. This is a work in progress. The offense is so good that many times they have slippage on defense. As the season goes on, I hope they continue to work on the fundamentals and communication needed to become a better team on the defensive end. Maybe a roster tweak for another playmaker but they need to be careful on that because right now the chemistry is special. This team looks like they are building something pretty special. The coaches keep the players accountable and the team is buying in. This could be just year one of the come up. Oh and Light the Beam!!!
Nick Cattles: I’d like Monte McNair to go back to Atlanta and rework the Kevin Huerter trade to include this year’s first round pick, unprotected. This would give them flexibility at the deadline to add future picks. With that in mind, I’d like to see McNair add a legit backup center (Naz Reid, Mason Plumlee, Mo Bamba or Nerlens Noel) as well as another wing with some length who could defend.
Frankie Cartoscelli: Improve defensively. Somehow, the Kings NEED to address its most significant weakness, interior defense. GM Monte McNair is undoubtedly hammering the phone lines and attempting to find a trade partner that can offer a rim-protecting big. Still, it remains to be seen what Sacramento would need to give up in a deal for a shot-blocking, rim-running big like Andre Drummond or a passing big like Mason Plumlee. With just under a month until the trade deadline, I would expect the Kings to make at least one move that bolsters its front line.