The Sacramento Kings Should Try To Shoot 40 Threes A Game

Sacramento Kings Bogdan Bogdanovic (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings Bogdan Bogdanovic (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Sacramento Kings’ new head coach Luke Walton wants his team to shoot at least 35 shots from beyond the arch. But should they actually be shooting more?

Is 35 enough shot attempts from beyond the arch? Let us dive into last season’s attempts when the Sacramento Kings had fewer players capable of making the three.

Based on Per Basketball-Reference, the Sacramento Kings averaged around 11 three-pointers made a game on 29 attempts. That number should go up this year. With a host of new team members who all can hit from the distance at a respectable clip, why not try the outside game?

Sacramento’s 37% clip from three-point land last season was fourth in the league. Commentators brought up the idea that the Kings should hoist up more shots last year because of their success.  Taking your time to develop a play to get a good look at the basket is how the team shot 37 percent in the first place. The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are teams that incorporate the three-point shot as a major strategy on offense. Sacramento can use it as a reference and adapt it.

Should The Kings Shoot 40 Threes!?

With the roster having a plethora of players able to hit from downtown, it could make the “outside” game to the “inside” game feasible. With the halfcourt play looking discombobulated in India to start the preseason, it shows Sacramento has to buy some time to build camaraderie while working on it.

Anytime the Kings can not run the fast break, the team can still push the ball and look for an outside shot. If it is not there, then run the halfcourt offense. Until the team gets a sense of each other’s nuances of how they play, the three-point shot might be the best look they get.

Teammates can get the jump on rebounds knowing the number of attempts the Kings will shoot.  The more balls that splash through the net, the easier the inside game will become. Walton’s theory to shoot threes, like Golden State’s, is a green light to play the outside game.

How The Kings Shot Last Season

The media highlighted the question “why not shoot more?” The smart play is to make shots, not just take them. Out of 29 attempts, the Kings made 11 baskets shooting 37% as a team. Their opponents shot 32% while hoisting up 34 shots and making 12 from the same area.

According to Basketball-Reference, the fading defense last year in the second half of the season, after Iman Shumpert was traded, ended the dream of postseason play. Once again, when the opposing team puts the ball in the basket, you have no fastbreak opportunities. Turning the Kings into a half-court team is not their recipe for success.

Defense Will Be Key To Perimeter Success

The ranked 26th in the league in points allowed a game. That is not the way a team succeeds when committing to the fast-paced offense. It is critical that Sacramento improves on its defense. A goal should be to be ranked in the higher half of the league.

Easy basket in the open court will be the difference between a win or a loss. Quick scores will save the team’s energy while deflating their opponent. A rebound, steal, or blocked shot is when De’Aron Fox can use his speed before the opposing team sets up their defense, leading to a high percentage shot for Fox or a teammate.

In every game, Fox uses his blinding quickness to get a bucket or a foul, sometimes both. Then consider Vlade Divac‘s defensive specialists acquired over the summer. This must become the identity of who the Kings are.

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This athletic squad has the ability to match last season’s win total at a minimum. Using the long ball is an easy way to increase the pace of the game. That said, 35 attempts might not be enough. Set a goal at 40 and fall in between those two numbers. An open shot from beyond the arch is better than a blocked shot at the rim. Always a game changer as history has shown. A couple of three-pointers gives your team momentum, whether ahead or behind.