Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield is on a torrid pace for the Sacramento Kings. The Kings’ starting two-guard dropped in his fourth consecutive 20-plus points effort on Tuesday night, leading the Kings to their fourth straight win and improving their win-loss record to 5-3 – their best start since the 2014-2015 season.
Playing in back-to-back road games against the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic on Monday and Tuesday, Hield erupted. He had the first double-double of his career on Tuesday, scoring 25 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, to lead the Kings past the Magic in Orlando, Florida, 107-99. On Monday he had 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 123-113 win over the Heat in Miami.
Against the Magic, Hield was at his best late in the game. He scored six points when his Kings went on a 13-2 scoring run to close out the third quarter.
In total, the Grand Bahama native connected on nine of 15 shots and hit a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. He dished out three assists and recorded one block. He also finished with a team high +13 efficiency rating on the night.
Coming into the season, Hield was one of the more talked about players on the Kings’ roster. There were questions about whether he would start or not, and how much playing time he would get. In the team’s last loss, a 126-112 setback to the Denver Nuggets, Hield played 23 minutes and finished with just five points on 2-for-7 shooting. Since then, he has been on a tear.
Kings’ Head Coach David Joerger played Hield 41, 36, 36 and 39 minutes in their last four games. It has led to him being more productive on the court, scoring 23, 22, 23 and 25 points in those four games.
The Kings defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Heat and the Magic during their four-game winning streak.
The 24-year-old third-year shooting guard is benefitting from a number of aspects, including point guard De’Aaron Fox emerging as a strong distributor of the ball and center Willie Cauley-Stein having a good season in the paint.
He is expected to see more open looks from the outside as the season progresses.
Although he has just two years under his belt in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Hield is one of the more experienced players on the team. He is playing like it, leading the charge for the Kings.
On the season, he is averaging a team-high 18.9 points per game (ppg.), collecting 6.1 rebounds per game (rpg.) and dishing out 2.4 assists per game (apg.).
He is shooting a blistering 52.2 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from three-point territory. From the charity stripe he is shooting 84.2 percent.
The former Oklahoma Sooners standout is averaging 32.1 minutes per game (mpg.) on the season, and has started in the shooting guard slot in all eight of the Kings’ games this year. He has at least one three-pointer in eight straight games to start the season, and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
Last season, the three-point specialist averaged 13.5 ppg., 3.9 rpg., 1.9 apg. and 25.3 mpg. He shot 44.6 percent from the field, 43.1 percent from beyond the arc and 87.7 percent from the free throw line. He started in 13 out of the 80 games he played in last season.
It looks like Hield has found a home in Sacramento and will look to continue his strong play.
The Kings sit in eighth in the NBA’s Western Conference and is in second in the Pacific Division behind the Golden State Warriors (7-1) who also have the best record in the conference.
The Kings will be in action again tonight, taking on Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks (2-5) at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism