4 Pressing questions Kings still need to answer after quiet trade deadline

The Kings must answer these questions if they want to make a postseason run.

Sacramento Kings, De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis
Sacramento Kings, De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Can the Kings defense get stops in the playoffs?

Sacramento led the league in offensive rating in 2023 but finished 25th on the other end of the floor. Their defense improved in the playoffs, but it was just seven games. It is tough to be certain that the trend will continue.

The Kings have jumped to 17th in defensive rating this season, but they are allowing 116.9 points per 100 possessions, which is 0.1 worse than 2023. Offensive production continues to explode in the NBA, but things will slow down in the playoffs and defense will matter more.

The hallmark of a championship contender is finishing inside the top ten in both offensive and defensive rating during the regular season. The Kings are 14th and 17th in 2024. They must improve on both sides of the ball, but the defense is the concern. Sacramento has two stars to get them buckets. They need someone to shut off the water on the other end.

De’Aaron Fox has taken a step forward on defense, but the Sacramento Kings lack a true defensive stopper. Domantas Sabonis is not an elite rim protector but will play the five in the majority of the lineups. Their defense is a worry and could quickly become a problem in the playoffs.