Buddy Hield on Kings: ‘It seems like we’re all over the place ... Trust issues going on’
The Kings lost their first five games this season. But they weathered the storm. They won 12 of their next 21 games and got back into the Western Conference race.
It’s raining again.
Sacramento has lost five straight. Buddy Hield sat the entire fourth quarter against the Rockets on Monday, and he played just five minutes between the fourth quarter and first overtime against the Timberwolves last night.
NBC Sports California:
Hield on how the Kings are handling frustration and connectivity during a five-game losing streak:
Hield on whom he doesn’t trust:
Hield on whether he was surprised to re-enter the Minnesota game late:
Hield has struggled during the losing streak, shooting 29% on 2-pointers and 23% on 3-pointers. He’s not playing well enough, no question. Hield is a scorer. When his shots aren’t falling, his shortcomings – like defense – become even more aggravating.
But Hield is also a good player. I’m not sure how much Kings coach Luke Walton is accomplishing by cutting Hield’s playing time. Will that help Hield make more shots? Or is this just a random cold streak? Just because Hield has missed shots lately doesn’t mean he’ll keep missing them. Recent prior shooting results on a small sample are a poor predictor of future shooting.
Maybe Walton is trying to send a message about Hield’s all-around game, that defensive effort should be better. That could come during a hot shooting streak, but obviously wouldn’t.
As is, Walton is clearly lighting a fire in Hield – for better or worse – while sacrificing Sacramento’s spacing. Even when missing, Hield draws defenders.
I’m not sure whether sitting Hield is worth it. Walton has a better sense of the teams internal dynamics and should be better positioned to make that judgement.
We’ll see whether this helps him – and the Kings.