USA TODAY Sports
December is over. The Kings went 7-8. And the results could not have been more different on the road vs. at home.
The Kings went a surprisingly good 7-8 in December. That's surprising because December was supposed to be much more difficult than November on account of all of the road games, and because the Kings went just 4-11 in November. But this team absolutely refuses to make any sense, so what the heck, right?
That said, the Kings did struggle away from Sacramento in December. Mightily. The only difference is that the team corrected its home problems from November in excellent fashion. The Kings were really completely different teams on the road vs. at home in December.
AT HOME ...
The Kings went 6-1 with an average scoring margin of +4. The wins included a few over probable playoff teams (Knicks, Celtics, Warriors). The biggest difference was on offense. At home, the Kings scored 1.11 points per possession, which is elite level efficiency. The team gave up 1.08 points per possession on defense. The team shot an effective field goal percentage of .515 at home, and allowed opponents to shoot .500.
ON THE ROAD ...
The Kings went 1-7 on the road in December. The scoring margin was -13 per game. (Yikes.) The road defense was a little worse (1.10 points per possesion, .520 opponent eFG). But the real difference was on offense. The Kings scored just 0.97 points per possession (abysmal) and shot an eFG of .458 (totally gross) on the road. Shooting that poorly makes you completely uncompetitive.
AND NOW JANUARY
Ten games on the road. Seven games at home. Yep.
That said, a few of the home games look very difficult (Miami, OKC, Memphis) and several of the road games look winnable, even for this team. As Akis has noted, this four-game trip the team leaves for Monday morning includes Detroit (11-22), Cleveland (7-25), Toronto (11-20) and Brooklyn (16-14). If the Kings can't win one of those first three games (despite injury issues), it's hopeless on the road.