Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox’s Free Throw Struggles

Sacramento Kings De'Aaron Fox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings De'Aaron Fox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings is enjoying arguably the best stretch of his career, but there is one aspect that has been missing from his game.

Sacramento Kings starting point guard De’Aaron Fox is enjoying one of the best stretches of his young career since the start of 2020, having averaged nearly 23 points and 7.3 assists per game since the change of the calendar. Fox has been the driving force behind the Kings’ mini-resurgence, but there is one particular area that he has struggled to improve.

Coming in to this season, Fox was a 72 percent free-throw shooter and shot 73 percent during his lone collegiate season at Kentucky. But in a season in which his numbers are up across the board, his shooting has taken a dip, most noticeably from the free-throw line.

Since January 4th, Fox is making just 64 percent of his free throws, and has had nights that were downright ugly from the charity stripe. Against Dallas on January 15th, he went 3 for 9 from the line. Two weeks later against Minnesota, he made 8 of 14. And then there was last night, when Fox hit just 3 of his 8 attempts, good enough for 37.5 percent.

The woes are curious. Has he suddenly developed a case of the yips? We are waiting to see him break out of this slump from the line, and there is surely no one more frustrated with the situation that De’Aaron Fox himself. There have been multiple times when Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear predicted that Fox would be in the practice facility working on his touch after the game.

Whatever the case may be, it would certainly benefit the team as well as his personal stat sheet should Fox be able to snap out of his current funk. An added 2-2.5 points per game would put Fox at a 22 point average.

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But one thing that Fox can not allow is for his struggles to impede his ability to draw contact in the lane, which is one of his most important tools. Look to see if Fox can improve his free throw numbers when the Kings host the San Antonio Spurs tonight.