The Sacramento Kings' revamped 2011-12 schedule has been released. In addition to the opener -- December 26 against the L.A. Lakers, in which the color yellow shall be prohibited from Here We Stayed Arena -- the Kings will end the season on April 26 defending home court against the infidels from the south.
The Kings lucked out and were given just one back-to-back-to-back: January 3-5 at the Memphis Grizzlies, at the Denver Nuggets and at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. That could very well be an 0-3 triptych, given the special difficulties of playing in Denver on short rest; the Bucks in Sacramento would otherwise be a winnable game.
While the relative lack of B2B2Bs is a schedule bonus -- some teams have three such situations -- the calendar won't be kind to the Kings early. By the time the All-Star break hits in late February, the Kings will have played 11 games at home and 21 on the road.
Of course, that means that the Kings will largely be home down the stretch when chasing home court advantage in the first round, with the post-All-Star home-road split coming in at 22-12.
The season has a very early home tilt, though: after the opener against Evil Incarnate, the Kings visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, December 27, and return to H.W.S. Arena for the Chicago Bulls on December 29. The New York Knicks and New Orleans Hornets visit back-to-back on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. (That's right: New York on New Year's Eve, New Orleans on New Year's Day. New new new new new new.)
I am terribly sorry to report that the Miami Heat will not visit Sacramento this season.