Freeman Cebu Sports

Are the Kings for real?

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

For those of us who had been following the NBA since the 80s, we should be familiar with Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Hedo TurkogIu, Vlade Divac, Jason Williams and Doug Christie - a very productive crew, all playing on the same team.  Williams, error-prone because of his flashy plays, was later traded for a much steadier Mike Bibby.

From 2000 to 2004, the Sacramento Kings were legit title contenders and became the LA Lakers' most bitter rivals, culminating in a Western Conference Finals match-up in 2002. The 7-game series was regarded by many as one of the best in league history, although it proved to be controversial.

The decline started in 2004 when Divac, Webber, Christie and Stojakovic were traded one after the other.  They still made the playoffs until 2006, which was their last post-season appearance.

It has been sixteen years way back when Sacramento last made the playoffs, but things turned bright early this season.  With a strong offense, they recorded their first 7-game win streak since the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Led by a rejuvenated DeAaron Fox, five other Kings average in double figures (Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Malik Monk and rookie Keegan Murray).  Completing the rotation are vets Trey Lyles, Terence Davis, Chimizie Metu and second year pro Davion Mitchell.   This makes the Sacto bench one of the most productive in the league.

After 18 games and with a 49.1% field goal percentage to date, coach Mike Brown had crafted for Sacramento the NBA's most efficient offense in league history, according to StatMuse. 

But this does not necessarily mean that they are serious playoff contenders.   Their bigs are not known to be defensive stoppers, not withstanding the 7-foot Alex Len, and yes, Sabonis.

Still, things looked good for the Kings as Fox had jelled well with Sabonis and Huerter and fans had taken notice.   With a 10-8 win-loss record and currently sitting at 6th in the Western Conference, they are way better than their superstar-laden, former bitter rivals, which they beat on Laker homecourt two weeks ago.. 

The Kings are now fun to watch.  Are they really for real?


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