3 Reasons this Sacramento Kings season wasn’t a total failure

Apr 19, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) has the
Apr 19, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) has the / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The defensive improvements 

Last season, the Kings were an offensive powerhouse. They won games by outscoring opponents, and few teams in the league could slow them down. Coach Mike Brown was convinced that that was not enough, however, and desperately tried to turn the Kings into a functioning defensive team. 

In March, he finally succeeded. Playing Keon Ellis and Davion Mitchell more and seeing an improved effort from others, he watched his team transform into a real defensive threat. Ironically, their offense fell off shortly after that. A lot of that probably has to do with Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter going down. With Monk, around 15 points a game were sitting on the bench, and Huerter stretched the floor well, even if his shots weren’t falling. 

Without them, the spacing wasn’t quite the same, and De’Aaron Fox often found himself on an island without any teammate that could go off like Monk can and create for others at the same level. That can be fixed, however. At its heart, this team is still an offensive squad with talented scorers, and the summer will hopefully see some more firepower coming in. 

Last year, the Kings brought in Chris Duarte, Sasha Vezenkov, and JaVale McGee. Neither had a noticeable impact on the offense, and this summer simply has to be better. While the front office works on bringing in some new faces, the Kings now have a solid defensive foundation, though. 

I doubt that De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray, and Keon Ellis are going anywhere, and they are the foundation of that new and improved defense. So, the change is sustainable, especially if Mitchell stays around as well, and can hopefully cover for any offensive hiccups that will plague the Kings to start the season if they manage to bring in meaningful new pieces that need to be integrated into the system first.