With the Sacramento Kings having a solid season so far, their next step forward to success is being able to defend their home court
The Sacramento Kings have found their identity as an up-tempo team with a defense that is improving by the game. The next step for a winning culture is defending their home floor. When you break down the past teams that have won titles, they all were able to play well in front of their home crowd. An example is the Golden State Warriors losing just 12 games last season at home. Setting goals and then meeting them is how the Kings can lay a foundation of winning.
First Was Toronto
A recent four-game homestand was a significant challenge for the Kings. The first team up was the Toronto Raptors who led their conference with a 10-1 record at the time. The Kings played well in the first quarter but lost to a better team. The Kings did, however, make the game competitive till the very end.
Kings Earn A Hard-Fought Win Against Minnesota
The Kings are still the underdog in most games. This team is still a work in progress on both sides of the ball. Being proficient in executing on offense while there is still room to improve. The Minnesota Timberwolves have a nice cast of players. Karl-Anthony Towns is the real deal followed by Andrew Wiggins, Derrick Rose, and at the time Jimmy Butler.
By sticking to the game plan along with another great third quarter, the Kings had momentum. That was enough to carry them to a gritty win in front of their fans.
A Frustrating Loss To A Rival
Any team with LeBron James is an instant favorite over the Kings. On the second night of a back-to-back, it gave the Kings an opportunity to make a statement. Too bad the Lakers put forth the defense that Magic Johnson demanded from Luke Walton’s team. On offense, Los Angeles outscored the purple and white 52 to 38 in the paint. They were able to make their baskets while the Kings did not. As a result, a frustrating loss was handed to Sacramento.
Kings Surprise The Shock Pop & The Spurs
The Kings could take notice of how the San Antonio Spurs compete well in every game they play. Gregg Popovich does not let them slack off on the teams they are projected to beat. The same energy night in and night out.
The Kings had different plans against the Spurs, however. The defense for the home team jumped back up a notch and it made a difference. The purple and white held the Spurs without a basket for seven minutes in the third quarter and another three minutes in the fourth quarter. The Kings hit their shots at 50% to the Spurs’ 43.7% from the field. The long ball was good for the home team at a sizzling 45.8% to San Antonio’s 32.3%.
The only other statistic that stood out was the total number of steals. The Kings had 12 with De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield recording two apiece. Iman Shumpert led the team with three steals. It came to Sacramento’s defense that sealed them the win.
The Final Wrap
A four-game homestand filled with formidable opponents was a big test for the Kings, and as a result, they finished with a record of 2-2. These young men are showing how this squad can and should play every night. Major props to coach Dave Joerger for getting the whole group on the same mission. This team has taken the next step to defend their home court and each other. Their recent performance against the Spurs was the best team win of the season to date.
Anyone who played for the Kings in that game contributed. They took away the Spurs’ ability to find any rhythm on both sides of the ball. The chemistry the Kings have had this season gives them an advantage that other teams do not expect. The opponents coming to town know they have a battle ahead of them. That is a good feeling for Kings fans.