Buddy Hield Response To Wake-Up Call Shows Promise

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 21: Buddy Hield
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 21: Buddy Hield /

Despite the Sacramento Kings demoting Buddy Hield from the starting lineup, he has responded well with his play in recent games.

With the bevy of young talent that the Sacramento Kings hold on their roster, Buddy Hield is a name that stands out from the pack.

The expectations for the second-year guard this year are high. After coming to Sacramento due to the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Hield showed flashes of being a promising two-guard as he averaged 15 points a contest while shooting 48% from the court and 43% from the three-point line in the 25 games he appeared last season wearing purple.

Early Struggles

With the belief that Hield would take the next step in his development this season, his start was nightmarish in terms of scoring the ball. In the month of October, where Hield started all seven games, he averaged just 10 points a contest while shooting 35% from the floor and an abysmal 23% from the perimeter. Not the best numbers for someone who has sharpshooting potential.

Time For A Change

With Hield in a slump and the Kings’ offense struggling early in games, Dave Joerger opted for a new approach once the calendar turned to November. When the Kings traveled to Boston to face the Celtics, Hield was not part of the starting five to begin the game. Garrett Temple instead got the nod taking his place.

With this personnel change having the possibility of deteriorating Buddy’s confidence, which Kings fans have seen from previous two-guards in the past, it took an opposite effect instead. He thrived on it.

Since Hield has come off the bench for Sacramento, he has been averaging over 13 points a game while shooting an effective 48% from the floor and 55% from beyond the arc. As a result, Hield has been a focal point for the Kings’ second unit offense which is currently ranked first in the NBA in points per game.

Final Thoughts

For the last seven games, Buddy Hield has impressed me not only because of the numbers he has produced but also because of the intangibles he has shown. He could have easily been frustrated after Joerger opted for him to come off the bench, but instead, he used it as motivation and has been efficient for the Kings since the switch.

It may only be seven games, but this span has given me hope that Hield will be an efficient King for the long term. It does not matter what role he has on the team or if he starts games or not. He is going play hard and continue to be confident in his game when his number gets called. A type of player the Kings need going forth into their rebuild.