The Kings are quietly a much-improved ballclub this season, but their defense has been their Achilles Heel.

They rank 22nd in points allowed per possession and give up a League worst 10.3 three-pointers per game.

While the numbers may not exactly back him up, George Karl said that Seth Curry has been the team’s best-on ball defender, and that’s earned him more playing time recently.

“Seth is a guy that—I didn’t think I’d be saying [this] a month ago—is our best defensive player,” Karl said. “But I give him credit that in the Dallas game he stayed on the court because he was the one guy who could control the ball.”

Curry, who lit up Summer League for 24.3 ppg on 45.9 percent shooting, played a career-high 36 minutes against the Mavs because he, according to Karl, “was the one guy who could control the ball.”

After Sacramento blew a 27-point lead to the Lakers on Thursday, the Kings are looking to establish a defensive identity. Curry’s play on the other side of the ball, oddly enough, may be earning him more playing time.