Stat shows Kings' starting lineup most-played five-man unit


The Kings might have an advantage over their Western Conference rivals with the NBA playoffs approaching. 

Several teams, like the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, made major trades to improve their squad during the NBA trade deadline. The Mavericks added Kyrie Irving and hope he gels with Luka Dončić and Kevin Durant made his debut with the Suns.

However, while the Suns and Mavericks likely will encounter chemistry issues, the same cannot be said about the Kings. Sacramento's starting five of De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray have played 702 total minutes together, the most in the NBA.

"It's definitely great," Fox told reporters Wednesday. "Obviously, I mean, Kevin and Keegan are new to this group, but they just fit right in. Like I said, whenever you just enjoy playing with each other and being around each other, I just feel like it makes being on the court together even that much more special, that much better. The communication, I feel like it's top-notch. 

"Obviously, we want to continue to grow in every aspect of the court, but especially with our starting group, we have shooting, we have guys that can finish, we have guys that can defend and I feel like we've done things at a high level, but if we want to continue to win, we have to continue to get better."

The addition of Huerter and drafting Murray No. 4 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft last offseason has paid off so far in the 2022-23 NBA season for Sacramento. Only three other teams have had their starting five log 500-plus minutes together: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers. 

Additionally, the Kings' second-most-played starting lineup of Davion Mitchell, Huerter, Barnes, Murray and Sabonis has logged 197 total minutes. After that, none of Sacramento's other lineups have played 100-plus minutes.

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Sacramento (36-25) is close to ending their 16-year playoff drought, but they also want to send a message that they're a serious threat to come out of the Western Conference in the final stretch of the season. 

The Kings likely will lean on the chemistry and connection the team has formed to have the upper on their opponent, which, if the season ended Friday, would be the Mavericks. 

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