Even though it has only been one week in the NBA regular season for the new-look Sacramento Kings, fans have learned a little bit about what to expect for the rest of the season.
Here’s a look at a few tid-bits gathered from the Kings’ last three games:
The Kings’ realm does not extend beyond the arc
In the first three games of the 2017-18 season, the Kings only attempted 23 three-pointers in each game and have not scored more than ten in a single game. In the modern NBA, where pace and space has been the ruling philosophy, head coach Dave Joerger’s lack of three-point schemes is a little worrisome.
Part of the reason there is a lack of three-point shooting is that the starting frontcourt of Zach Randolph and Willie Caulle-Stein so not spread the floor well. In the last two games where the pair started together, they have combined to shoot 2-7 from beyond the arc. Both players are primarily post scorers, so their lack of efficient range prevents the team from becoming a three-point powerhouse.
The vets will be heavily relied upon early in the season
Skal Labissiere’s start in the Kings’ first game against the Houston Rockets was primarily due to the fact that Zach Randolph missed the game with an injury. Some fans believed that Joerger would stick with the lineup and develop his young players this season, but that dream was quickly crushed.
As soon as he returned in the second game, Zach Randolph took the starting position and hasn’t left since. And while Randolph is starting in front of Skal Labissiere, George Hill is starting over lottery pick point guard, De’Aaron Fox.
Labissiere and Fox will become cornerstones of the franchise soon, but Joerger will let his vets guide the team for the time being.
The starting lineup will look very different by the end of the season
In each of the last three games, De’Aaron Fox’s minutes have gone up by at least two minutes. Yes, the last game against the Denver Nuggets was a blowout, but I’m still adding it to the sample size. If the trend continues, Fox may be starting next to George Hill in a few weeks, or just take his starting spot outright.
Another starting lineup coup could come from Skal Labissiere, as the second-year player continues to improve. He is a career 40% shooter from three and would fit perfectly next to Willie Caulle-Stein if Joerger decided he wanted to spread the floor.
And finally, for the starting small forward role, the Kings have relied on rookie Justin Jackson. Jackson has not played more than 20 minutes in a game yet, so the starting spot is basically ceremonial. The likely reason for this is that Bogdan Bogdanovic’s injury has kept him off the floor so far this season and he will likely take the starting three spot shortly after returning. His return will be a welcome one as the Serbian wing player should help improve the Kings’ three-point shooting.