Domantas Sabonis and Kevin Huerter, the art of the ‘handoff’ in Sacramento

HThey have ceased to be a positive surprise and a threat of revelation to become a firm contender for glory. No one can dare rule out Sacramento in the fight for a spot in the Finals, having placed in third position in the Western Conference (43-29). For the first time in the last 17 years, the Kings have a winning team again. And in what way It is true that equality is maximum, but poverty in terms of level is evident.

In nearly a decade and a half, the East conference is the stronger of the two. There is not a franchise in the West that is the rival to beat and only three, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies y Sacramento Kings they are being regular. What do they have in common? That none of the three have excessive experience in the Playoff. All open.

The success achieved by the team of Mike Brown is summarized, in part, in the effectiveness of Domantas Sabonis and Fox within the painting. The key to transforming this Sacramento attack (well complemented with handles around it: Huerter, Barnes, Monk, Keegan Murray…) in the best offense in the NBA. They are the team that scores the most points per game, but more importantly, the team that best rating per 100 possessions (118.6 in offensive rating). Having a powerful attack is not a guarantee of success in the Playoffs. This is demonstrated by the recent history of the league. Nevertheless, illusion has returned to a city that had not played a postseason for almost two decades.

The ‘Handoff’, the specialty of the most famous redhead

Kevin Huerter was always a solid shooter in Atlantabut the levels of volume and productivity he’s achieved in his first season in Sacramento are another matter entirely. registering 63.7% effective field goalthe shooting guard shoots almost seven triples per game with a 40.8% success rate. He’s basically making it possible for an offense like the Kings’ to be the best in the league with two stars who don’t have the 3-point shot as their primary resource.

Huerter has developed a lethal partnership with Sabonis, being the player in the league who more points generated per game (3.8 and 1.16 per possession) after receiving passes in ‘handoff’ (hand to hand). Curiously the most of his triples come after the dribblewhere their percentages rise to 48% and reach 56% in throws after step back. An animal

Domantas Sabonis, the great executioner of Sacramento

Here is an example of Domantas running the game. Those one-on-one with Huerter, blocking, and triple. Or the game in paint. If it was in a big market, the NBA would look at it differently.

Search for shot released with the pass, Sabonis putting screens for the shotor the speed imbalance with spearhead fox. A hilarious team to watch, with multiple alternatives in attack. The Lithuanian’s connection with Huerter, either through a ‘handoff’ or a cut to the basket, is a trademark of the house.

The white label Nikola Jokic

Excuse me, Domantas. Given its associative capacity, the best option is use it as a ‘point center’ and give it all the space within the area. After all, the way Fox has worked best has been as executor and there are no more players who can make a fluid and efficient offensive system. Sabonis is the engine, the one who gives meaning to the attack, his vision and his passes always finding the liberated man They give meaning to the Kings’ attack.

Domantas Sabonis, leader of the Kings

Con Huerter (15 points, 40.8% in T3), Fox (25.1 points, 34% in T3), Monk (13.6 points, 36% in T3), Barnes (15 points, 37% in T3) and Murray (12 points, 40.7% in T3) in the top positions, they are the ones who take advantage of Sabonis’s screen action the most. Lithuanian is after Steven Adamsthe player who use the ‘screen assists’ moreand the first to get the most points for his team, either finishing him or assisting the released player and taking the defender in the block. A cathedral piece in Mike Brown’s offensive system.

There’s a whole generation of NBA players that doesn’t know what it’s like to face a winning Sacramento Kings. This kind of tradition seems to be close to ending, or at least starting a new and exciting chapter in the history of the Californian franchise.


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