Evans and Hield Shine Following Sacramento Arrival

Both players have enjoyed increased production following the trade that sent them from New Orleans.
by Benedict Tagle
Writer, Kings.com

Since joining the Sacramento Kings, Tyreke Evans and Buddy Hield have made substantial impacts on the court. Their numbers with the Kings are not only impressive, but an improvement over their stats this season with their previous team.

Evans, a face familiar to Kings fans, has recaptured some of the magic that made him one of the League’s most talked about players. Seven games in his second tenure with Sacramento, he has averaged 15.4 points per game, an increase of approximately 66 percent from his season averages in New Orleans.

Choosing No. 32 as an homage to Francisco Garcia, his shooting has mirrored his former teammate. On double-digit attempts per game, he is shooting 48.1 percent from the field, but more impressively, the 2010 Rookie of the Year is shooting a red-hot 53.8 percent from downtown. Averaging 3.7 attempts from long distance, the sample size points to Evans’ improved shooting stroke. Similar to his first run with the Kings, he is filling up the stat sheet by also averaging 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Per 100 possessions, he is posting career highs in points, rebounds and blocks. He is also posting career-highs in shooting percentage, 3-point shooting percentage, and effective field goal percentage. Tyreke is wreaking havoc for opposing teams across the League once again.

Like Evans, Hield is showing improved production since moving from New Orleans to Sacramento. In 10 games in the Capital City, he is averaging 14.2 points per contest, an increase of about 5.6 points. Like Evans, Buddy Fresh has found his role in coach Dave Joerger's offense and is capitalizing on the shot opportunities presented to him.

The Bahamian rookie is shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 49 percent from long distance, both better than his shooting numbers in New Orleans by double-digits. His effective field goal percentage balloons to 63.6 percent. To put this into context, if he averaged this number for the entirety of the season, he would be fifth best in the NBA. The same number would be second-best League-wide the past five seasons.

With the chance to be a primary ball-handler in Sacramento, he faces a different role than the one he had in New Orleans, where he deferred to traditional point guards. No. 24 is thriving and his game is benefitting from his increased confidence and aggressiveness with the ball. His usage percentage has increased, he is drawing more personal fouls and consequently, earning more trips to the free throw line. Not only does this put opposing defenders into foul trouble, it allows him to take advantage of his excellent free throw percentage.

As Hield continues to develop with the Kings young core, fans have a lot to look forward to, with his play as a potential indicator of a bright future.

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