Sacramento Kings: 3 Reasons Buddy Hield Has Broken Out in 2018-19

Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

#1: Higher Pace Has Given Hield More Shots

For the young Sacramento Kings, getting up and down in a hurry that’s been the difference, as was previously detailed. While playing at Oklahoma in college, Hield was able to thrive in a run-and-gun offensive system that highlighted his perimeter shooting prowess. With Hield’s shooting ability from deep (as a career 41.5 percent three-point shooter and 45.5 percent marksman this year), it’s smart to feature him in an up-tempo system. Credit Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger for recognizing that with Hield’s flame-throwing, you want to get him more shots to open up the other parts of the offense.

Hield’s shot attempts have increased from 11.7 attempts last season to what would be a career-high 15.7 attempts this year, per Basketball Reference. Now, at first glance, one might think that having more shooting attempts would mean a player would produce more in the scoring department, but not shoot more efficiently. That hasn’t been the case for Hield; obviously, 12 games is not a huge sample size, but he has posted a 61.3 percent true shooting rate, which would be a career-high.

As was touched on before, Hield has gotten more shot attempts in early-clock scenarios, which has ignited the Kings’ offense. His highest frequency of three-point shots (26.1 percent) has come in the very early shot clock range (of 22-18 left), and he’s hitting 50.0 percent of those looks, per NBA.com.

Hield has also placed in the 82nd percentile this year among players in transition, according to Synergy Sports Technology (and has an effective field goal percentage of 75.7 percent). Clearly,pace-and-space is the best way to showcase Hield’s shooting, and he’s delivered for the Sacramento Kings.

The next reason Hield has broken out has been the progression of his scoring off the bounce.

Next Up: Reason #2