I'm going to the game tonight, and I was trying to decide whether I should have my playoff run attitude (keep the crew together and I don't care if Douby or Hawes gets minutes), or my build for the future attitude (all shots by Ron and Mike are opportunities lost for our future stars).
On the playoff run side is the fact that we are 6-3 since Jake and Elwood put the band back together, and we have won 7 of our last 10. We finished January with a winning record (9-6).
On the build for the future side is the fact that we reside in the Western Conference, where currently a .600 winning percentage earns you the 8th spot in the playoffs. That's right - the west is pacing for 50 wins just to make the playoffs! That would get you the 4th seed in the east, by the way, but I'm not bitter and that's the important thing.
So, do we have a real shot at the playoffs? Let's do the math.
We'll start by reaching for the stars, giving the Kings a .700 winning percentage for the rest of the season. That would be incredible, given the fact that only Boston, Detroit and Phoenix have played .700 ball this year. But this post gets a lot shorter if I project the Kings to win 60% of their games and I feel like writing.
So the Kings go 26-11 for the rest of the season (ha!). That puts them at 47-35, or three games behind Denver for the last playoff spot if the Nuggets don't fall off. Let's take a look at what each of the 10 teams in front of the Kings would have to do if the Kings were to catch each of them, starting with:
Houston The Rockets are currently 26-20, so they would have to finish 21-15 or worse. This is probably more likely than the Kings playing .700 ball, but in our little world we have determined that the Kings could catch the Rockets and overtake them for 10th place.
Portland The "slumping" Blazers are 5-5 over their last 10, never mind the fact that a good part of that was during a 7 game road trip. The Blazers would have to finish 20-16 or worse for the Kings to catch them. Again, not probable, but at least possible. 9th place could be ours!
Denver The Kings are 6 games behind the 27-18 Nuggets. 20-17 for the Nugs? Doubt it, but stranger things have happened.
So what we've determined so far is that if Houston continues to play as they have and Portland and Denver fall off while the Kings play .700 ball, we could secure the 8th playoff spot. Let's continue -
Golden State I'll preface this by noting that the Kings were 6.5 games behind the Warriors before the band got back together, and the Kings are 6.5 games behind the Warriors right now. But if Golden State, currently 10 games over .500 finishes 18-16 or worse the Kings catch them. This could happen if C-Webb runs over Baron Davis at practice. But since (according to Jim O'Brien) Webber does not practice this probably won't happen.
Utah 18-17, as opposed to the 17 for 18 that Boozer always shoots against us. Remember, either Utah, Portland or Denver has to make the playoffs by virtue of winning their division.
LA Lakers and San Antonio 18-19. I hope this doesn't happen as I would not be able to attend the playoffs anyway, as I would be tending to the wounds inflicted when the monkies flew out of my butt.
Dallas 16-21 Ha!
New Orleans 15-21 Ha-Ha!! And lest anyone get any ideas, the Hornets are still 8-2 in their last 10 after back to back defeats.
So, it seems that while the Kings do not have a realistic chance to make the playoffs, they do at least have an unrealistic chance, which is more than you could probably (sanely) have said a few weeks ago.
So, how are you approaching tonight's game and the rest of the season? Poll below -