MUMBAI, India -- Last season, the Kings ranked third in the NBA in pace at 103.88, but 20th in 3-point attempts with 29.9 per game.
This season, the Kings aren't too concerned with the first metric. They know if they stick to their game plan, the possessions will come. But they want the second number to go up.
During the portions of practice sessions open to the media in Mumbai on Thursday and Friday, 3-point shooting has been the focus. Coach Luke Walton and his staff have set a lofty goal that could put Sacramento in the top five in the NBA in 3-point attempts per game.
"We have a goal, something we can track to see if we’re playing the way we want to play," Walton told NBC Sports California after practice on Friday. "Thirty-five is the number that we feel is, with the type of shooters we have, will give us a better chance of winning ballgames if we can keep it around that number."
While the coaches might be setting a baseline for the players to reach, De'Aaron Fox is more focused on doing the things that lead to more open shots.
"The way that we play, a lot of guys get in the paint and I feel we’re going to get a lot of kick-out threes and probably some threes that we passed up on last year," Fox told NBC Sports California. "I don’t think we’re necessarily focused on it, I just think the way we play we’ll end up getting a lot of threes."
On Thursday, Walton said the Kings don't want to run, they want to fly and that they will "fly all year." A day later, he explained what he meant by that.
"Part of the idea of flying is, you seeing anything out there flying, it’s beautiful," Walton said. "You see birds, the way they fly, it’s beautiful, there’s a rhythm to it, there’s a flow to it. So it’s not so much as far as trying to get shots up as fast as possible, but when we get stops and we get the ball, when we get the ball going, we want our wings to get to those deep corners as quickly as possible to create the space we want. We want our guards pushing it."
Fox is the Kings' floor general and it will be imperative that he find the open teammate. When asked, he said decision-making is the thing he wants to get better at in his third season.
"Get assists up, turnovers down," Fox said. "I had the ball in my hands a lot last year, but just being able to take care of the ball, even more, I feel like will be a bonus."
Walton, Fox and the Kings will get their first chance to test out these goals when they take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.