NBA Standings ordered by free-throw percentage: Kings’ issues persist late in the regular season

Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat
Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Free throws are some of the easiest shots in basketball, and one point doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up to valuable scoring numbers. Often, games even come down to free throws. Teams will foul intentionally to stop the clock, and in moments like that bad shooters are a liability on the court. 

Unfortunately, the Kings are a team full of struggling free-throw shooters. Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes, and Malik Monk are the only players shooting at least 80 percent but none of them average more than three free-throw attempts per game. 

De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis average the most attempts on the team with 6.4 and 4.8 respectively. Fox is shooting 70.9 percent—his worst percentage since the 2019-20 season—and Sabonis is currently at 68.9 percent—his worst mark since his rookie season. 

As a result, the Kings are dead last in the league in free-throw percentage.

Western Conference Standings ordered by free-throw percentage

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder: 83.2%
  2. Utah Jazz: 83.0%
  3. LA Clippers: 81.7%
  4. Phoenix Suns: 80.6%
  5. Portland Trail Blazers: 79.3%
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves: 78.4%
  7. Golden State Warriors: 78.3%
  8. San Antonio Spurs: 78.1%
  9. Los Angeles Lakers: 77.3%
  10. Houston Rockets: 76.9%
  11. New Orleans Pelicans: 76.4%
  12. Memphis Grizzlies: 76.0%
  13. Denver Nuggets: 75.9%
  14. Dallas Mavericks: 75.5%
  15. Sacramento Kings: 72.7%

Eastern Conference Standings ordered by free-throw percentage

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: 83.0%
  2. Miami Heat: 81.9%
  3. Boston Celtics: 81.2%
  4. Atlanta Hawks: 81.0%
  5. Chicago Bulls: 79.6%
  6. Charlotte Hornets: 78.5%
  7. New York Knicks: 78.4%
  8. Indiana Pacers: 77.9%
  9. Detroit Pistons: 77.5%
  10. Milwaukee Bucks: 77.0%
  11. Cleveland Cavaliers: 76.3%
  12. Washington Wizards: 76.3%
  13. Brooklyn Nets: 75.8%
  14. Orlando Magic: 75.2%
  15. Toronto Raptors: 74.8%

The Kings have a problem 

Struggling to make their free throws has proven to be a problem for the Kings this season. It cost them a win in Milwaukee in January, and even in the Kings’ huge overtime win over the Timberwolves, it was a factor. 

They made 13 of their 24 free throw attempts in the game, but three of the misses came in crunch time. With 52.9 seconds left in overtime and the Kings up by only three points, Malik Monk missed two free throws. A little later, with about 7 seconds left, Trey Lyles missed another one.

If Karl-Anthony Towns hadn’t sent a pass into the first row and Naz Reid hadn’t missed a corner three, the game could have ended very differently. From now on, every game matters especially. 

The Kings cannot afford any unnecessary losses if they want to go to the playoffs. They have to find a way to take care of business and make their free throws.