3 Reasons this Kings season feels different from the last

Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns
Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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2. Players have different roles

The only Kings players whose roles haven’t massively changed are De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Malik Monk, and Trey Lyles. 

Fox shoots more threes now and sometimes settles instead of getting to the rim, but otherwise, his role is the same. He’s the main guy, has the ball in his hands a lot, and has a long leash. Sabonis is the hub of the offense. He runs DHOs with the guards, sets screens, battles on the boards, and bullies opposing bigs. Monk and Lyles are the main guys off the bench.

Other than that, pretty much everyone’s role is different, especially in the starting lineup. Keegan Murray has arrived, and he isn’t going anywhere. Last season, he was a catch-and-shoot threat and not much more. Now, he’s putting the ball on the floor, attacking the rim, and creating his own shot. 

That’s exactly what the Kings want him to do, but it changed the dynamic of the team. Especially Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes had to adapt. Murray gets more touches now, taking away from Huerter and Barnes, which means they have to find other ways to contribute. 

Plus, Huerter has been asked to have a bigger impact defensively. That is just not his strong suit and having to get used to a new role with a short leash can be frustrating. It visibly impacted his game early in the season. 

Outside the starting five, Monk and Lyles, roles are still rather undefined. Mike Brown is still tinkering with his rotations and that gives a different feel to the games as well. 

One night we see Alex Len, the next JaVale McGee comes in. We get used to seeing Keon Ellis as the backup guard, and then Davion Mitchell replaces him. Chris Duarte starts and then collects DNPs on the bench. There just isn’t the same sense of cohesion as last season.