Season Preview

2023-24 NBA Season Preview: Sacramento Kings

Published October 21, 2023, 11:00 AMPolo Bustamante
Polo Bustamante

Will the Kings continue to light the beam this season?

The NBA Season is back! Just like your favorite superhero story, the NBA brings fun, entertainment, and a lot of uncanny subplots to unpack. That’s why NBA.com Philippines decided to preview the new season comic-book style. We pick out fantastic characters that will take the stage and new amazing arcs to watch out for. Bang! Pow! Boom! Let’s go!

What’s their superpower?

The Sacramento Kings were the most dominant offensive force in the NBA last season. They put up 120.7 points per game, nearly two full points ahead of second place. They finished top five in field goals, 3-pointers made, and assists per game. They were so good at scoring the basketball that they finished with an offensive rating of 119.4, nearly two points ahead of the next team. That number is also the best offensive rating in the history of the NBA.

In a word, Sacramento’s offense last season was historic.

It’s also a reminder that last season was the first season of their head coach Mike Brown and the first full season of Domantas Sabonis with the team. If they were already putting up ridiculous numbers last season, imagine what kind of insanity they can do with a full season under their belts.

What’s their kryptonite?

We’ve seen this kind of team before. A team so focused on dominating offensively that they let the defense slide a little bit. 

As good as the Kings were offensively, defensively they were one of the worst teams in the league. They allowed 116.8 points per 100 possessions, ranking 25th in the NBA. They were slightly better than lottery teams like the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs.

That formula of trying to outscore your opponent works well in the regular season. But in the playoffs where the game is fought in the trenches, teams need a functioning defense to survive. The Kings learned that the hard way against the Golden State Warriors.

Steph Curry had his way with the Kings’ defense, averaging 33.7 points on 48 percent shooting in their seven-game series. To make matters worse, in the series-clinching game, the Kings allowed Curry to erupt for 50 points, leading to their first-round exit.

Who is their biggest hero?

There’s something about De’Aaron Fox that just seems heroic. It could be his name. Fox does sound cool. It could also be his speed. He’s widely recognized as one of the fastest players in the league. It could also be his demeanor. He never looks rattled. He always looks calm and collected, no matter the situation.

It could be all of the above. Fox’s speed and level-headedness allow the game to slow down for him, helping him make the right decisions, especially during tense moments. That’s why he was awarded the Jerry West Award for being the most clutch player in the NBA last season. He literally saved the Kings from so many potential losses with his stellar play during crunch time (194 points in the clutch).

Saving Sacramento from impending doom? That sounds like a job for a hero. That sounds like a job for Mr. Fox.

Who is their biggest villain?

It’s hard to cheer against a team that was fighting to make the playoffs for the first time in 16 years. How can you root against breaking a streak like that?

You don’t.

The Kings were one of the most beloved teams in the entire league because of their story last season. They earned several fans outside of Sacramento because they were not only winning, they were winning with style. The Kings unleashed one of the best gimmicks in recent history with their “Light the Beam” campaign.

Every time the team won, they would shoot a bright purple laser in the sky. That kind of awesome initiative will not only get your fans to buy into your season but will also get other teams to take notice.

Usually, lasers are associated with villains in movies. But in this case, the Kings don’t have a bad guy to cheer against.

How does their story play out?

The Kings were one game and around 50 points away from taking down the Warriors and advancing to the second round for the first time in 18 years. Sacramento was so, so, so close. That just means they’ll be hungry for more coming into next season.

They still project to be one of the best teams in the West because of their continuity. But several teams have made huge improvements to their rosters and it’s likely that the Kings get knocked back into the middle of the pack after their third-place finish in the conference last season.

That just means they’ll have to work harder to get their wins. But that also makes it sweeter every time they light the beam.