One of the biggest things that we as Sacramento Kings have been deprived of during the NBA hiatus is the joy of watching De’Aaron Fox improve and develop.
We have already done some digging for the tough-to-find positives for the Sacramento Kings when it comes to the NBA’s current hiatus. Players will get rest, others might become healthy for the first time in many months. But for every good thing that comes out of this situation, there are five negative things. One of them is the disruption of the hot streak that De’Aaron Fox was on late in the season.
Fox appeared in just 16 of the Kings first 34 games due to various injuries, and struggled to show any improvement over last season as Sacramento stumbled out of the gate. From Opening Night on October 23rd to the last day of the decade on December 31st, Fox averaged 17.1 points and 6.8 assists on 32 percent shooting from beyond the arc, all regressions from his numbers from the prior season in which he was a finalist for Most Improved Player.
Something clicked for Fox as the calendar turned over to 2020. Despite averaging worse three-point shooting numbers, he upped his scoring numbers to 22.3 points per game. One way that he has achieved this was by taking over the Kings offense by using his speed and athleticism to get in to the lane and draw fouls. In the final months of 2019, Fox got to the free throw line 5.9 times per game before upping those numbers to 7.3 in 2020.
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In some recent contests, somewhere around the third quarter, it feels like Fox suddenly realizes that he can take over game with his nearly-unstoppable ability to attack. While much of the praise for the Kings recent hot streak goes to the starting lineup change between Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the real catalyst has been De’Aaron Fox. Just as it should be.
And that is what makes the absence of the NBA even more of a bummer for Fox and for us Kings fans. He was finally starting to build on the immense improvement that we saw last season, and was beginning to look like a star instead of just a budding one.
Unfortunately, there is no time table for the return of the NBA and of the Sacramento Kings. Instead of watching Fox blaze down the court in a playoff push, we have to settle for watching him kill enemies in Call Of Duty on his Twitch channel.
Hopefully, whenever there is basketball again, De’Aaron Fox maintains the attack-first mentality, and is able to build on his improvements thus far.