Leading up to the 2018-2019 NBA season, names such as Devin Booker, Jamal Murray and John Wall were grabbing headlines regarding former Kentucky Wildcat guards. However, while those three have played exceptional to start the season, two former Wildcats on the West Coast have had immaculate starts as well.
De’Aaron Fox, a sophomore star for the Sacramento Kings, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Los Angeles Clippers rookie, have exceeded expectations through the first month of the NBA season.
Fox has his Kings as the current eighth seed in the Western Conference, boasting an 8-6 record thus far. Gilgeous-Alexander has aided his Clippers to the fourth seed, besting the Kings’ for a 9-5 record.
Specifically, Fox is boasting more efficient numbers that naturally come with this being his second year in The Association. Through almost a fifth of the season, the young PG is averaging over 18 points per game and dishing out more than seven assists per contest. He’s playing a healthy amount of minutes (32) while also drastically increased his shooting percentages from the field (41% to 50%) and from behind the arc (30% to 44%).
However, Gilgeous-Alexander has also been productive in playing “team basketball.” Scoring more than 10 PPG, the rookie has been efficient from the floor by shooting 48% from the floor & 37% from behind the arc. His defense, on positions ranging from PG to power forward, has also been outstanding.
Gilgeous-Alexander has brought a sense of youth to the Clippers’ backcourt that has been scarce for many years. His impact in L.A. has been far from unnoticed.
Though it’s early in the season, both guards are playing beyond what most expected and have yet to show any signs of regression. If that remains the case, the Western Conference is in for a tough test over the course of the next decade.
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