Interview: Hield enjoying green light with rising Kings

Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield is averaging a career-high 18.7 points this season.

INDIANAPOLIS — Buddy Hield led the Sacramento Kings scoring with 20 points on Saturday against the Pacers. Although the Kings lost, they are playing basketball like they haven’t in years. They are serious contenders to make the playoffs, led behind the offensive production of Hield and De’Aaron Fox.

On this night, Hield fired up a dozen 3-point shots.

“I feel like everybody gives me the confidence and the green light to shoot it,” Hield told Amico Hoops after his 20-point performance.

The former Oklahoma Sooner is known for his lethal jump shot and unlimited range. This season he is averaging a career high 18.7 points per game. The Kings have needed every bit of his scoring attack.

“Guys are not perfect. You gon’ miss some shots. It’s part of the grind”, he said.

Right now Hield is shooting a sizzling 42.2 percent on threes, a mark that ranks him ahead of Doug McDermott, Kyrie Irving, Khris Middleton and other known 3-point shooters. He’s confident, but knows how to understand that basketball is a game of streaks. He isn’t phased by going cold at some points during a game like he did against the Pacers.

Why has this team been able to outperform every possible expectation? No one foresaw the Kings being a serious playoff threat, while the Spurs and Rockets may be in trouble of falling too far behind in the crowded Western Conference.

“I think it’s coach (Dave Joerger), Fox, and the culture,” Hield said. “And the guys we are playing. We have a five-man that’s really athletic and runs the floor in Willie (Cauley-Stein).

In addition to his teammates, Hield has personally taken a huge step. He was the blue chip in the trade that landed the New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Center DeMarcus Cousins. Today, it appears the returns are starting to pan out.

“I like to go up, get up and down, run fast, shoot threes, score the basketball quick,” Hield said.