After an entire offseason of waiting, the NBA is back and we are now through the first week of the new season. The Sacramento Kings sport a rough 1-3 record, but there is plenty to be excited about. As well as some to be upset about. With that said, here are the biggest takeaways from the Kings’ first three games of the season.
De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic Look Like Cornerstone Players:
Yes, it is a small sample size (4 games for Fox, 1 for Bogdanovic), but that does not make it less true.
In 27.3 minutes a contest, Fox is averaging 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists while shooting 45% from the floor. Not only that, but Fox has been electric for the Kings off the bench. Fox has an offensive rating of 105.7 and a usage rate of 26.8 which is highest on the team (min. 4 games). Fox looks like a bonafide future star and is must watch television at this point. In addition to all of that, Fox is squarely in the thick of the rookie of the year race to start the season.
Bogdanovic, who missed the first three games of the season after spraining his ankle in the preseason, debuted with vengeance against the Suns.
In 25 minutes on Monday night, Bogdan scored 12 points while recording 3 rebounds and 2 assists and recorded a +15 in the plus/minus category. He was instrumental in the Kings making their late comeback attempt, and even though he only shot 33% from the field, he posted a net rating of 16.7. That is how impactful he was on the court.
Time will tell whether Fox and Bogdanovic are able to reach their high ceilings, but so far, they looked primed to do so.
For Better and For Worse, Joerger Is Committed To Randolph:
Before the season, Randolph looked like a good pickup. But through three games, it has been anything but. Randolph is averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds on just 31.3% shooting. In 21 minutes a game, he has the third worst net rating on the team (-18.2), which puts him only ahead of Frank Mason (-32.8) and Justin Jackson (-27.3).
Randolph has also been massively outplayed by Skal Labissiere who is averaging 12.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists on 52.2% shooting. Analytics? Skal has an 8.6 net rating (2nd on team) and a 58% in true shooting in 24.8 minutes a contest.
It is only three games, but something needs to change, and change fast.
Joerger’s Rotation Is Still In Flux:
Through four games, the Kings have deployed 44 different player combos on the court.
While the starters have stayed the same for three of the four possible games, it becomes a mess after. The Kings most heavily used lineup which consists of Hill, Hield, Jackson, Labissiere, and Cauley-Stein has posted a -31.3 net rating in 44 minutes played so far. Of all the lineup combinations deployed, only five have played over five minutes together while posting a positive net rating.
While injuries have played a key part in this, it will be interesting to see how Joerger deploys his players going forward.