NBA: The Sacramento Kings are back

The Kings are back, and it’s a wonderful thing for the NBA.

The Sacramento Kings are relevant for the first time in over a decade.

Sacramento hasn’t been to the postseason since 2006 when Metta World Peace was on the squad and was still named Ron Artest, and Mike Bibby was running the point. Flash forward 12 years, and the Kings look poised to make it back to the playoffs.

At 19-16 the Kings are currently the eight seed in the Western Conference. Despite the west being highly competitive Sacramento is only four games out of the top spot in the entire conference.

Though if the Kings make it it will likely be as a lower seed, there is excitement in Sacramento about their team for the first time since the early 2000 when when the Kings were battling the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy year in and year out.

A December 27 win for the Kings put the NBA on notice. As the Kings chipped away, and as time expired, Bogdan Bogdanovic set the Golden Yum Center into a frenzy with a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer agaisnt the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings are getting the wins early but the million dollar question is: is this success sustainable?

The answer is absolutey. The Kings truly have a complete roster. It all starts with second-year point guard De’Aaron Fox. Fox is one of the best young players in the NBA. What jumps is Fox’s speed as not many players in the league are quicker with the ball in their hands.

His playmaking ability has been on display on both sides of the ball this season. He has averaged 18 points, 7.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

At 21 years-old Fox is the centerpiece of the franchise, however, he’s not the only young talent the Kings have. The Kings have two above average shooters in Buddy Hield and Bogdanovic. Both are 26-years-old and can light it up the scoreboard

Heild has averaged 19.7 points per game this season and is a .426 percent three-point shooter.
Bogdanovic is averaging 15.3 points per game and is shooting .438% from the field.

The Kings have great back-court depth but also have an under-rated front court.
Willie Cauley-Stien, 25, is one of the most athletic centers in the NBA. He is averaging 14 points per game with 8.5 rebounds. What makes Cauley-Stien special is his speed. At 7-foot Cauley Stien does a great job of flying down the court on both sides of the ball for a big block or dunk.

The forgotten man on the Kings roster is Marvin Bagley. The second overall pick of the 2018 draft has battled injuries but when on the floor has been extremely productive. The 6’11 power forward has averaged 12.7 points per game with 6.1 rebounds and a block. Bagley hasn’t even flashed his full potential and still is putting up productive numbers.

What’s different about this Kings team is they finally have a veteran with NBA finals experience who isn’t just on the roster but producing. That is Iman Shumpert.

The 28-year-old Shumpert has postseason experience from his time with the Knicks and Cavaliers. He appeared in the NBA finals three times with Cleveland winning a ring in 2016.
He has brought a winning presence to Sacramento off the court and on the floor has produced with 9.7 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 1.6 steals per game.

After their last-second win over the rival Lakers, Fox made it clear he wanted no Laker fans in the arena.

This hasn’t been seen from any Kings teams the last decade. They have swagger and want to be great.

This Kings team has depth with a mix of young talent and some veteran leadership and also has some swagger. The western conference should be on high alert.

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