The Sacramento Kings are the hottest team in the NBA right now, winners of six straight games which has vaulted them into fifth in the West at 9-6 on the season.
The catalyst for Sacramento’s run has been a red-hot offense, which was the concept on which this team was built. De’Aaron Fox is the engine, darting up and down the floor, with Domantas Sabonis serving as the balance to Fox’s speed in the halfcourt, able to dominate in the paint with strength and skill on the block. Around those two are shooters, like rookie Keegan Murray, veteran Harrison Barnes, and the biggest trade acquisition of the offseason for the Kings, Kevin Huerter.
Huerter arrived in Sacramento as a cap casualty in Atlanta, as the Hawks wanted to get out of the luxury tax after dealing for Dejounte Murray and shipped Huerter off to the Kings to accomplish that goal. Since arriving in Sacramento, Huerter has done nothing but knock down shots, averaging 16.6 points per game on 50 percent shooting, including a ridiculous 49.5 percent clip from three-point range on 7.4 attempts per game.
After facing the Kings last week and seeing Sacramento roll up 153 points, Kevin Durant took time on his podcast to breakdown why the Kings offense works so well and, specifically, called on fans to watch Kevin Huerter, who he likened to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry with how he’s letting it fly early this season.
"Kevin Heurter, right now, he's playing like Klay, Steph. If you're not a basketball fan and locked in on the league, you gotta watch how Kevin Heurter is shooting this ball right now."@KDTrey5 sees what they're doing in Sacramento. 👀
— Boardroom (@boardroom) November 22, 2022
It’s a really interesting explanation of why the Kings offense is so tough to deal with, as Durant notes Sabonis’ presence means you can’t just switch constantly, or else risk getting buried in the post where they’re happy to go over and over if you give the big fella mismatches. As such, when you’re hedging and recovering, you get caught in rotation and that leaves shooters open, which they have in abundance. On top of the pick-and-roll dilemma, Huerter is far more than just a spot-up shooter now, and the way he can pressure a defense off handoffs and curling off screens only further stretches a defense to its limit.
For all the talk about “new media” and what it can provide, this is without a doubt the part where current players having podcasts is the best for fans. Durant can provide insight into the scouting process — where he jokes everyone looks great when they pass out the scouting sheet — as well as the issues a team can provide for gameplanning and execution. That insight is rare, and KD hopes more people tune in to watch the Kings so they can see a fun, young team in action — a rare take he shares with Charles Barkley.