Flurry of incredible stats indicate Kings' offense is elite originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
As Kings fans know, that scoring outburst wasn't a mirage. The 153 points, one short of the single-game team record of 154 points since moving to Sacramento in 1985, was a result of not only a memorable 31-point performance by Terence Davis, but also the Kings following the same offensive formula they've found throughout the year.
Through 13 games in the 2022-23 NBA season, the Kings rank second in the NBA in offensive rating (116.5), points per game (119.5), effective field-goal percentage (57.8) and true shooting percentage (61.1).
Also, Sacramento ranks fourth in 3-pointers made per game (14.8) and assists (28.2) and seventh in 3-point percentage (38.1).
The year-over-year difference is remarkable.
Under coaches Luke Walton and Alvin Gentry last season, the Kings finished 24th in offensive rating, 22nd in effective field-goal percentage, 25th in 3-pointers per game (11.4) and 24th in 3-point percentage (34.3).
"I said this about our team in general when we were [0-4]," coach Mike Brown said after the Kings defeated the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 13. "You see things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. You’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we might be getting it.'
"So now if we can get to a point where we can put it all together for longer stretches of time, we’ll have a chance at this thing."
The Kings are also taking care of the basketball this year. Sacramento commits a league-average amount of turnovers (14.7 per game) but the offense is moving the ball without coughing it up, ranking fourth in the NBA with nearly two assists per turnover (1.92).
The offense all starts with star guard De'Aaron Fox, who is putting up the most efficient numbers of his career: 24.6 points, 6.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds on 54.1 percent shooting from the floor and 36.1 percent from downtown.
Fox also leads the NBA with 42 total points in "clutch minutes," situations when the score is within five points with five minutes or less remaining in a game. He's shooting 64.3 percent in clutch time, markedly better than the other eight players with at least 20 field-goal attempts when the game is on the line.
“I’m so excited for those guys,” Brown said Tuesday night. “The work they’ve put in, and the connectivity that that group has. To be able to get a win this early in the year over the champions is big. It’s big for the organization.
“It’s extremely big to help with the belief. A team that truly believes is a dangerous, dangerous fricking team.”
There's plenty of work to be done on the other end of the court as the Kings are 26th in the NBA in defensive rating (114.0) and 27th in points allowed (117.0). Their elite offense, however, gives Brown a buffer to slowly establish a sound defensive team in Sacramento.