De’Aaron Fox has had an extraordinary transformation this season. He’s always been a good talent, but thanks to an upgraded roster and another true star to play with in Domantas Sabonis, he’s reached another level.
On top of showing a big improvement in his shooting this season, Fox has become the most dangerous player in clutch time, defined as moments where the score is within five points in the final five minutes of regulation or overtime, and it isn’t even close.
In his latest game, Fox scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter against the Bulls, and hit an ice-cold game-winning three.
It was a high pressure situation after a debatable four-point play was called for the Bulls on the other side of the floor, but it didn’t matter in the end. Fox called game and put the Kings back into the second seed in the Western Conference. He’s been on a tear in his last 13 games as well, and the Kings are 10-3 in that span.
Fox has 180 points in the clutch this season, which gives him a 42-point lead over Jimmy Butler and DeMar DeRozan, who currently have 138 apiece. Fox’s late game heroics have become so normal that it doesn’t surprise his teammates anymore. It’s become a familiar scenario for Sacramento, whose offensive system is built around having Sabonis as the primary playmaker for the first three quarters and then handing the ball over to Fox in the fourth where he shines and is able to score at will with his mix of speed, finishing at the rim, and deadly midrange jumper.
With 14 games left in the Kings’ schedule, and some tough games ahead, it looks certain that Fox will only continue to add to his clutch record before the season is over. He certainly feels like a lock for the Clutch Player of the Year award this year, and he’s earned it.