NBA Monthly Roundup: The Kings, Raptors aren’t dead just yet

NBA Sacramento Kings De'Aaron Fox (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
NBA Sacramento Kings De'Aaron Fox (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Exploring three NBA takeaways from March and three predictions for April.

It feels like a lot of basketball attention has flipped (and rightfully so) to March Madness over the past few weeks, but the last month has probably been the most active of any that we’ve had in the NBA so far this season.

Between the trade deadline, injuries, teams falling apart at the wrong time, and an All-Star game that feels like it was three months ago now, it’s been a busy month in the NBA.

So let’s all agree to push our busted brackets to the side (thanks to the Pac-12) and get up to speed on some of the biggest stories from around the league.

NBA March Takeaway: The Kings have figured it out…or at least De’Aaron Fox has

The Sacramento Kings were one of the biggest surprises in the NBA during March. They finished the month with a 9-5 record and now sit just a game and a half back of the Warriors and Grizzlies for the final play-in game spot.

The team stats really don’t show a big difference though. The Kings were marginally better on both ends this month compared to their total season stats, but their defense was still 26th in the league, a major red flag despite being an improvement over dead last which is where they’ve been all year.

So what’s the difference? De’Aaron Fox is the difference. March was easily the best month of his young career, averaging 29.3 points and 6.6 assists on 52 percent shooting. Those that follow Fox closely have seen this coming though as he’s been getting more and more aggressive as a scorer all year, increasing his output each month from December-March (20.6, 21.5, 24.8, 29.3).

A big problem for Fox this year has been at the free-throw line, but since the All-Star break, he’s getting to the line nearly eight times per game and converting just under 80 percent, a nice increase compared to his 6.6 attempts per game and 67 percent mark before the break. It’s just part of the reason why he was the fourth-leading scorer in the NBA this month, trailing only Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, and Damian Lillard, all by less than one point per contest.

The question for both Fox and the Kings is whether this is real or a fluke. Both have shown promise in the past that they couldn’t sustain long-term, so they’ll have to prove over the final third of the season that this is who they really are.