Sacramento Kings: 3 Keys To A Successful Road Trip

Sacramento Kings (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings Bogdan Bogdanovic (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

Find A Hot Hand

The Kings have lost four of their last six games, and a contributing factor for the slump may be the lack of a hot hand.

Since his career-high 31-point performance against the Suns on November 19th, Bogdan Bogdanovic is shooting just 26.8% from three and 35.5% from the field. He has scored 21 points combined in the last two contests for Sacramento.

Buddy Hield has the numbers to prove that he has been scoring over the last six games, but his shooting numbers are way down and his hot hand has been inconsistent. He is averaging a solid 24 points per game since the Suns game, but is shooting a woeful 32.4% from deep.

Hield has been inconsistent as the go-to option for Sacramento, especially early in the game. He scored a career-high 41 points against the Celtics last week, but has been silenced in the first half of the last couple of games, which has caused big problems for the Kings.

In both the win against Denver and loss against Chicago, the Kings found themselves down by 17 points in the first half, due in large part to the lack of a go-to scorer. Against the Nuggets, Hield scored two points in the first half on 1/6 shooting. Against the Bulls, he had four points on 2/8 from the field. He finished both games with 20+ points, but in one case it was too little too late.

If both Bogdanovic and Hield are having off-nights, things can become concerning for the Kings who are already without one of their top scorers in De’Aaron Fox. They relied on Nemanja Bjelica to keep them in games early in the season, but he has struggled as of late. In the four games before his 18 point performance last night against the Bulls, Bjelica averaged 6.8 points on 14.3% from beyond the arc. Yikes.

Getting one of these guys going early will be key on the road trip, especially against Dallas and Houston. Both teams have explosive guards who can score in incredible bunches, and the Kings will need to have an answer on the other end of the floor.