Sacramento Kings: What’s wrong with Buddy Hield’s offense?

Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Sacramento Kings’ guard Buddy Hield has found himself in a significant offensive slump.

Heading into the NBA restart, the Sacramento Kings appeared very confident in their ability to make a playoff push. Riding a wave of momentum after going 13-7 in their last 20 games before the hiatus in March, the Kings were one of the hottest teams in basketball.

However, since the seeding games began late last month, Sacramento has amounted to little success, a big reason for that being Buddy Hield‘s abysmal start.

On the season, Hield is having a stellar showcase, averaging 19.2 points per game on 42.3 percent field goal shooting and 38.7 percent shooting from behind the arc.

His numbers dipped after he and fellow shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic swapped places in the lineup, sending Hield to the bench, but the guard was still having one of his most productive seasons.

The Kings needed Hield to bring that same offensive firepower to Orlando if they were to have any success in the restart, but so far, he has looked like a shell of himself.

After solidifying himself as a pure 20 points per game scorer early in the season, Hield’s numbers have been all over the place in Orlando. Currently, Hield’s five-game stretch includes totals of 6, 12, 21, 3, and 17 points, proving to be as inconsistent as ever.

In their first five games, Hield is averaging just 11.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game for the Kings. Shooting wise, the guard’s percentages have been awful, connecting on merely 30.3 percent of his field-goal attempts.

To make matters worse, this year’s Three-Point Contest champion is hitting just 26.4 percent of his three-pointers in Sacramento’s first five games.

Some higher-ups in the league have even gone as far as to say that the hiatus took a toll on Hield, saying he has looked like an entirely new player. According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, “Several league insiders have commented that Hield looks out of shape.”

Buddy Hield has contributed to the Sacramento Kings’ lackluster start.

Although Sacramento’s lack of success in Orlando does not fall solely onto Hield’s shoulders, he undoubtedly deserves some blame in their 1-4 start.

With De’Aaron Fox averaging 26.2 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic averaging 20.2 points per game, Hield has failed to live up to the occasion while his teammates have done just the opposite.

Despite his disappointing showings to this point in the restart, Sacramento head coach Luke Walton still believes that the 27-year-old will turn things around. Via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee:

"“Buddy still has my trust and we need him. We’re going to need him to come off (the bench) and provide that scoring punch he’s done for us for most of the season. So it was hopefully just a one-game thing there as far as where those minutes were, but he’s a big part of our team.”"

With their playoff aspirations slipping following four losses in five games, it might be too late for a Buddy Hield turnaround to save Sacramento’s season, but it would still be a welcoming sign.

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With Hield’s future with the franchise being a hot topic of discussion since his benching in January, this latest slump will only add fuel to the already ignited fire.