Kings Look To Avoid Worst Start Since 1990-91 Season
Sacramento faces Charlotte tonight as they hope to avoid 0-5 start
Expectations for this year’s Sacramento Kings were the highest in recent memory, which makes the start to this season even more surprising.
After falling 101-94 to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, the Kings dropped to 0-4, their worst start since the 2008-09 season. Losing their first three games by an average of 23.6 points, Sacramento looked better in their showing against Denver. While the offense cut down on turnovers, the shots wouldn’t fall for Buddy Hield and the Kings as they fell short to a solid Nuggets team that won 54 games last year.
In 2018-19, the Kings fast paced offense was the reason that they were competitive and in the playoff hunt into the later months of the season. Speed was the team’s forte, ranking fifth in pace and ninth in points per game over the course of the season. So far, this Kings squad looks like a completely different team as they have struggled to show similar characteristics from last year’s squad that won 39 games.
With a loss on Wednesday night, the Kings would fall to 0-5 for the first time since the 1990-91 season when they finished 25-57.
Newly signed center Dewayne Dedmon has struggled to settle in, shooting 34-percent from the field and 18-percent from beyond the three-point line. The seven-footer has struggled to hold onto the basketball, racking up 14 turnovers through the first four games.
Fellow newcomer Trevor Ariza has also failed to find his shot so far as he currently holds a 31-percent average from the field on the season.
Surprisingly joining Ariza and Dedmon in the shooting struggles department is Buddy Hield. After a two-for-13 showing on Monday night, Hield is now averaging 14.3 points per game on the season while shooting 35-percent from the field. If Sacramento wants to turn things around, it begins with their leading scorer and well above average three-point threat in Hield.
Bogdan Bogdanovic is another King that has mightily struggled to begin the season. The third-year guard is shooting 27-percent from the field and 31-percent from three-point land. Once the shots start falling for Sacramento, the results could show up in the win column.
Last season, Harry Giles III made his highly anticipated debut and showed flashes of why he was once considered the number-one recruit in the country coming out of high school.
The 21 year-old has had several knee surgeries over the past few years and has bouts of lingering soreness, something that has kept him out of the first four games this season. After missing the first two games, Giles started practicing last week and was even upgraded from “out” to “questionable” for Monday’s game against Denver. Giles has been going through full-contact practices, and his return could be sooner rather than later–possibly as soon as Wednesday against Charlotte or Friday against Utah.
Richaun Holmes has stepped up in the absence of Giles and Bagley, averaging 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Holmes has been highly efficient on offense, shooting 63-percent from the field and 70-percent from the free-throw line.
Holmes exploded for 24 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks on Monday night while hitting 10-of-14 shots from the field. With Sacramento’s duo from Duke sidelined, expect Richaun Holmes to get his fair share of minutes in the paint.
Terry Rozier and the Charlotte Hornets will come into Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night as they look to pick up their first road win of the season against a win-less Sacramento squad.
Charlotte has won five of their last seven contests against the Kings dating back to the 2015-16 season.
The 1-3 Hornets have given up an average of 119.2 points per game this season, something that the Sacramento offense can take advantage of as they try to put a tally into the win column. De’Aaron Fox, fresh off of a performance that saw him score 20 points and dish nine assists will hope to get out and run against a weak Charlotte defense.
Catch all of the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30pm and tip-off following at 7:00pm.