Two Positives, Two Negatives From Kings' Road Win Over Magic

The Kings have rattled off four straight wins and there is a buzz around Sacramento. They are running teams off the court with their high-powered frenetic pace and playing a fun brand of basketball.

After completing a Florida sweep with a 107-99 win Tuesday night in Orlando, the Kings are now 5-3 on the season they have momentum heading into Thursday's game in Atlanta. 

Here are two positives and two negatives as the Kings picked up their fourth win in a row and moved two games over the .500 mark on the season.


Boarding Buddy 

Shooters are going to shoot. Buddy Hield is a shooter and he continues to launch every time he steps on the floor. Fortunately for the Kings, that's not all he's doing. 

In Tuesday's win over the Magic, the third-year shooting guard out of Oklahoma ripped down 11 rebounds in 39 minutes of action. Hield has been a solid rebounder early in his career, but he's taken it to another level through eight games, posting 6.1 boards a night for Sacramento.

Rebounding numbers are up and so is Hield's scoring. After his 25-point performance in Orlando, Buddy Buckets is now averaging 18.9 points on 52.2 percent shooting from the field and 44.7 from long range. He's posted 22 points or more in each of the last four games and averaging 23.3 points in the Kings' win streak. 

Two-Way to the rescue

Most fans have no idea who Troy Williams is, but they have to love what they are seeing so far. Signed to a G-League two-way deal last week, the 23-year-old wing played 34 minutes in the Kings' win over the Magic, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. He's long, athletic and plays with an energy that the team needs from the position.

Per NBA rules, Williams can spend up to 45 days with the parent club, but that clock doesn't start until the G-League season begins on Nov. 2. 

Williams went undrafted out of Indiana in the 2016 NBA Draft. He's played for Memphis, Houston, New York and was on the Pelicans roster through training camp before being waived on Oct. 17.  


Killer instinct

First learn how to compete for 48 minutes and then learn how to win. This is the NBA's progression for a young. Sacramento is quickly shown that they can compete. They are even flying through step two, but the road is about to get a lot more difficult. 

During their wins over the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic, Sacramento found a way to build double-digit margins late in games, but they have struggled to fully put teams away. It's a young team issue and experience is the only cure.

When the schedule shifts in November to a slew of playoff caliber teams, the Kings are going to be tested late and finding that killer instinct could be the difference. They'll outrun a few teams, but if they can't figure out how to execute in crunch time, it could be a long month.

It's free, right?

Last season, the Kings couldn't get to the free throw line to save their lives. This season, they are getting to the stripe, but missing at an alarming rate. 

On the season, the Kings are second in free throw attempts, averaging 24.9 per game. They rank 30th in free throw percentage as a team, hitting just 64.3 percent. 

De'Aaron Fox went to the line just 2.7 times as a rookie and shot 72.3 percent. In year two, he's attacking the rim and getting fouled in crunch time. So far he's shooting 6.8 free throws per game, but he's shooting just 63 percent. 

Willie Cauley-Stein is struggling as well. The 7-footer is doing a lot of things right, including a four game stretch of double-doubles. He's even getting to the line 4.4 times per game, an increase of one attempt per game over last season. Once at the line, Cauley-Stein is shooting just 54.3 percent. 

In tight games, the Kings need to find a way to hit their freebies. They shot 17-of-26 (65.4 percent) against the Magic and missed four out of 11 attempts in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. 

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