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Kevin Huerter’s struggles have ‘silver lining,’ Kings’ Mike Brown says – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Kevin Huerter has had a turbulent 2023-24 NBA season, as the 25-year-old often has found himself with the Kings’ second unit as Coach Mike Brown continues to experiment with different lineups.

But Huerter’s three consecutive double-digit scoring efforts might be just what the sharpshooter needed to get back on track.

At Sacramento’s practice Sunday, Brown told reporters why he believes the former Atlanta Hawk’s struggles potentially were beneficial.

“When [Huerter was benched], I said, ‘Hey, right now I need to shake some things up.’ And sometimes, not just for the team, but sometimes for the individual, too,” Brown told reporters (h/t Fox 40’s Sean Cunningham). “It can help him refocus or take some pressure off of him. I mean, he’s a career [38] percent 3-point shooter, so you know that’s not going to go away. We knew he was going to eventually be back, didn’t know when. 

“The blowout loss to New Orleans, you could always find a silver lining in it, but maybe if [Huerter] starts, he doesn’t play down the stretch like he did. And if he does [start] maybe he’s not as aggressive, because there was some desperation in him to get himself back on track, too. He knew he just had to let it fly and keep trying to play free and be who he was with some confidence. He was able to do that down the stretch and now he’s back playing at a high level for us, which I like to see.”

Last week, Huerter scored a career-high 31 points against the Indiana Pacers on an excellent 64.7-percent shooting. In his last three games, the Maryland product scored 67 points on 25-of-40 shooting.

And Huerter was key to Sacramento’s hot start in Monday’s much-needed win over the shorthanded Atlanta Hawks, which snapped its four-game losing streak.

While Huerter seems to have found a groove on the court, Brown identified another area where the guard has improved.

“And I told him, I’ve told it to everybody, defensively, he’s a lot better this year than what he was last year,” Brown said. “Those are things you like to see.”

Huerter explained what he believes has helped him overcome his struggles as of late.

“I think just being involved in our offense,” Huerter told reporters. “Consistency of what I’m doing when I’m on the court. I think that has a large part to do with it. Just getting myself involved in the game and feeling the rhythm and flow of the game and making shots after that, that’s a lot easier.”

Over 39 games, Huerter is averaging 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Considering Sacramento only is four games back of the Western Conference’s fourth seed, Huerter’s scoring prowess could propel the Kings up the standings.

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