Sacramento Kings Kevin Huerter
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Sacramento Kings' guard Kevin Huerter is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury

Published March 22, 2024 at 12:14

In the wake of a dislocated left shoulder and labral tear, Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter finds himself sidelined indefinitely. Huerter's injury occurred during Monday night's matchup against Memphis, forcing him to exit the game in the opening quarter. As of Thursday, the team disclosed that they are exploring treatment options but refrained from providing a clear timeline for Huerter's return.

Kevin Huerter's absence from the Sacramento Kings lineup could extend for a significant duration, possibly encompassing the remainder of the season. Following his exclusion from Wednesday's victory against the Toronto Raptors and Thursday's matchup against the Washington Wizards due to a dislocated left shoulder, the team confirmed on Thursday that "imaging revealed Huerter sustained a dislocated shoulder and a labral tear. Treatment options are currently under evaluation."

Meanwhile, the Kings are embroiled in a heated battle to secure a berth without the need for a play-in tournament. Presently, they cling to the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings, just edging out Dallas and Phoenix by a slim margin. With only the top six teams guaranteed direct entry to the playoffs, Sacramento faces intense pressure to maintain their position.

This setback for Huerter comes amidst a season where he has started 59 games for the Kings, albeit experiencing a dip in performance compared to his previous campaign. His scoring average has fallen from 15.2 points per game to 10.2, accompanied by a decrease in his three-point shooting accuracy from 40.2% to 36.1%.

During Huerter's absence, Sacramento's offensive prowess will undoubtedly feel the void. Nonetheless, the blow isn't as severe, thanks to the availability of guards like Malik Monk and Keon Ellis prepared to fill his shoes. Monk, a strong Sixth Man of the Year contender, has showcased impressive form this month, averaging 21 points across 10 games while boasting a remarkable 57.6% true shooting rate in 29.5 minutes of play.

While Ellis' contributions may not be as flashy statistically, his consistent performance throughout the season has earned him recognition. In fact, Sacramento's decision to convert his two-way contract into a standard NBA deal highlights his impact, prompting him to assume a starting role in Huerter's absence.

Particularly noteworthy is Ellis' defensive prowess, which has been instrumental for the Kings. With him on the court, Sacramento has demonstrated a formidable defense, conceding just 109.5 points per 100 possessions, equivalent to a top-two ranking in defensive efficiency.

"We have to be ready to play without Kev if it is some type of long-term thing, and I think everybody is confident in Keon," Kings guard De'Aaron Fox told reporters, via the Sacramento Bee. "Whether he starts or comes off the bench, the minutes he's been providing the last few games, especially since he's been back in the rotation, have been great."

Source NBA : Kings guard Kevin Huerter is sidelined with injured left shoulder
Source CBS Sports : Kevin Huerter injury: Kings guard out indefinitely with dislocated shoulder, torn labrum
March 22   |   2 answers
Sacramento Kings' guard Kevin Huerter is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury

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