Sacramento is succeeding with a similar scheme to Denver

Sacramento is succeeding with a similar scheme to Denver

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The Sacramento Kings have been one of the biggest upsets of this NBA season. While many thought they were back in the NBA’s “no man’s land,” they quickly proved pundits wrong. While the additions to the new team have certainly helped, there is one hypothesis with merit that is a big reason for the team’s newfound success. Ben Taylor, author of the book “Thinking Basketball” and host of the podcast, suggests that the Kings’ new success correlates with employing the same type of scheme used by the Denver Nuggets and their back-to-back MVP. Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into the Sacramento Kings’ surprise season so far.

Sacramento Kings to Denver’s recipe

Sacramento’s top-flight offense

While the Kings don’t have a two-time MVP like the Denver Nuggets, they do have an international big man who is a multiple All-Star with the ability to make games and also play as a point center. Domantas Sabonis, son of former NBA player Arvydas Sabonis, was a late acquisition for the Kings at the NBA Trade Deadline last season. The deal focused on Sabonis but also brought in Indiana Pacers Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton. At the time, it looked like a trade the Pacers had won. However, this can no longer be the case.

The Kings’ strong offense revolves around Sabonis. The two-man game with him and De’Aaron Fox is deadly, and new shooters in Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter open the floor for him to operate. As with Jokic and the Nuggets, this leads to plenty of opportunities for cutters and open three-point shots. Not to mention they’ve also started utilizing a lot of dribbling passes with Sabonis at the high post. Even when the editors aren’t around, Sabonis is talented enough to work in the post office and earn an easy chance. Taking a page out of Denver’s playbook has paid off as the Kings currently have a 115.3 offensive rating. Not to mention the team has also used games the Warriors have run and spent time with head coach Mike Brown.

The two stars for the kings of Sacramento

While Sabonis has been an All-Star before, Fox is on his way to making his first All-Star appearance. During the season, he averages 23.2 points, 5.6 assists and 5.0 total rebounds per game. He also shoots a career-best 35.0 percent from three-point range. Not to mention he’s one of the fastest and most athletic in the league, creating multiple highlight reel layups and plays conducive to an electrifying all-star game.

As for Domantas Sabonis, his game is very similar to Nikola Jokic in some ways. As a result, he could make another All-Star selection. Especially with his style of play and the Sacramento Kings being in the playoff picture right now. Sabonis is currently averaging 18.0 points, 12.0 total rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. He also has an average effective field goal percentage of 64.8 percent. With those numbers, Sabonis could find himself in his third All-Star Game. Sabonis and Fox aren’t the only reasons for Sacramento’s success this year. However, the Kings wouldn’t be in this position without their performance and newfound offensive rhythm.

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