For the first time in over 15 years, Sacramento Kings fans have real hope for the franchise. Over the last decade and a half, the Kings have disappointed fans and missed the playoffs constantly. After a 30-52 2021-22 season, expectations were not high for the Kings, with PointsBet giving the Kings an over/under of 34.5 wins. 16 games into the season so far, the Kings sit at 10-7, sixth in the Western Conference. Sacramento had a slow start to their season going 0-4. The team has now won 10 of their last 13 games and is currently on a seven-game win streak. The Kings have introduced their “winning beam” this season, something that has not only excited their fans but NBA fans league-wide. What has played into the Kings’ success so far this season?
One of the biggest factors in the Kings’ success right now is De’Aaron Fox. Swipa has had a solid season so far, putting up 25.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 6.4 APG shooting 55.5% from the field, 40.8% from three, and 84.4% from the line. The 2022-23 season marks the first time Fox has shot over 50% from the field and 40% from three. With plenty of tough competition at the guard positions, Fox hopes his performance this season will help him land his first All-Star Appearance. Alongside Fox, Domantas Sabonis has been a key for the Kings this season. Following the trade from the Indiana Pacers last season, Sabonis only played 15 games, not giving him much time to build chemistry with the team. While he has taken a small step back in comparison to last season, Sabonis has improved his shooting from the field and three while distributing the ball more.
The team has also had significant help from their offseason signings. Kevin Huerter has been the team’s best off-season signing so far. After several years in Atlanta, Huerter has been pivotal to the Kings’ success, averaging 16.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 3.3 APG. Currently top-five in three-point shooting percentage, Huerter is currently shooting 50% from three more than seven three-pointers attempted per game. Another off-season signing, Malik Monk has been a key member of the bench. Sacramento also has one of the more reliable rookie scorers in Keegan Murray. Although he’s missed a couple of games due to soreness, Murray has been able to average 10+ PPG.
The Kings are one of the best teams on the offensive end, currently having the second-highest offense in the league. The team leads in total points per game in addition to being top-five in assists. While some have written this off as another quick flash from the Kings, they have had wins over significant teams. Sacramento has had wins over Miami, Cleveland, Golden State, Memphis, and Brooklyn. Their win over Brooklyn was a significant win, dropping 153 points.
Looking ahead at the Kings schedule through the rest of the year, the team will have numerous opponents that will put them to the test. Through the rest of November, they face contenders in Boston and Phoenix before having matchups against Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Denver, and Utah in December. If Sacramento can compete with those teams, there is a significant chance that the Kings could make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. With the team currently sitting in sixth and several Western Conference foes underperforming this season, this season may be the start of a new era in Kings basketball.