It is fitting that today is Halloween because the Sacramento Kings could not start have had a scarier start to their season. The Hornets were the next team that spooked the Kings, handing the team a loss and a 0-5 record while leaving fans wondering what is happening in Sacramento.
Not many people would have thought this team would start the season the way they are. The Kings have a strong starting lineup and solid bench support, and besides looking good on paper, this is a team that surged last season, and were going to surge even further. So what is going wrong?
Rumors have been coming out that the Kings are not in the physical shape that Luke Walton would like them to be. That’s really inexcusable for a roster full of professional athletes, whose physicality is their occupation, to be out of shape. If this is indeed true, not only does Walton need to condition his players up to par with the league, there also needs to be discipline to keep things that way. Young players have talent and upside, but discipline needs to be focal point for them to be successful.
Another big issue the Kings are having are third quarters. The team plays well into the half, but coming out of it, they look out of touch and slower. The Kings are being out scored 158-96 in the third quarter. That’s a difference of 62 points in five games! They fall so far behind in the third that it’s hard for them to come back, and as we know too well, they haven’t come back to win a game yet.
This needs to be fixed fast, or else risk falling into a win-loss deficit that won’t have this team playing past mid-April. It could be a state of mind, fatigue, or something else, but if the Kings keep getting our scored by double digits in the third, they are simply putting themselves in a difficult situation to win games.
Another problem to add to the fire is the lousy play of their highly talented backcourt. It’s clear that Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox have not played the type of basketball they are capable of.
Although they both are scoring around 16 points a game, Fox holds a field goal percentage of 38.8% and Hield at 35.4%. Those 16 points are being scraped together with an awful lot of misses by these two. As the leaders of this team, they need to get into a rhythm if the Kings have any hopes of reaching the postseason.
On top of all of this, Bagley and Giles’ presence is missed. Richaun Holmes has looked great at the center position the last couple of nights, but what Bagley and Giles brings to the court is unequivocal.
This team needs to turn things around today. There’s no reason this team should be starting the season winless with five losses.
Sacramento plays next on Friday against the Jazz. Coming off a 32 point defeat on Saturday to this Utah team, the Kings can’t let that happen again. It’s a new month on Friday, it’s time to get a win, and time for the Kings to prove what this team is truly capable of.