After a week that included but was not limited to copious amounts of blood, sweat, and tears, a panel of renowned basketball scholars (Akis, Tony, and Omer), and I have sifted through the entire NBA so that you don't have to. After covering the other 29 teams in depth, it is only right that we end this with the most important team of all... the Sacramento Kings!
Our own Kevin Fippin joined me to discuss the results of our grueling journey, offer his own insight, and add more intelligent banter to our already intelligent research.
Breaking it down this way prevented me from throwing a random number out and saying that was the Kings record. Instead I threw out random numbers for 29 other teams! The breakdown was as follows:
Brad: Pacific (10-6), Northwest (10-8), Southwest (11-7), East (18-12)
Esteemed Panel of Basketball Scholars: Pacific (9-7), Northwest (10-8), Southwest (9-9), East (20-10)
Fippin's Hot Takes:
Pacific (9-7), Northwest (10-8) Southwest (10-8), East (16-14)
Brad, I added up your win totals and immediately became compelled to call in a welfare check. Then I realized how embarrassing it would be if you didn't have any pants on when the EMT's arrived. Hopefully you're alright. If you're reading this... I always liked you slightly more than Greg.
That said, I went through the same exercise with both an open mind and no particular win total as a goal. As you can see, I came up with what feels like a pretty ridiculous number myself. In fact, I felt bad not giving the Kings more credit in a lot of situations. I'm not sure what to make of this... I blame the Eastern Conference really.
The Win Total:
When adding all of the different series up, I tended to be the optimistic one (save for the East). There were very few major discrepancies between my predictions and those of my esteemed colleagues, save for a couple. the largest discrepancy being a 10 game discrepancy between Tony and I on the Houston Rockets. When all of it was added up, however, the end records were quite close. (Keep in mind, the panel of experts isn't one person's prediction, but an aggregate of each person's predictions for their their given section)
Esteemed Panel of Basketball Scholars: 47-35
While before I did this, my super optimistic, more than likely incredibly homer pick would have been the 47 wins that the others picked, I am happy with my results. Obviously all of our predictions were based on pure speculation regarding a teams health and player availability. I was worried I would finish this and have some ridiculous 60 win prediction that I would have to explain, but a solid 49 win team, while optimistic
Fippin's Hot Takes:
Again, to protect the "integrity" of Brad's post I did this exercise on the up and up, and landed on 45 wins. I even redid the whole game a couple of times (once ending up with 47 wins which frightened me) and the results were extremely close on each pass through the league. I'm at the point where i'm just going to stick with it. I, Kevin Andrew Fippin, fully believe that the Sacramento Kings will win 45 basketball contests this season. Suck it, Vegas!
Of course, this probably means the Kings will only win 29 games. I'm sorry guys.
1. Spurs (62-20)
2. Clippers (58-24)
3. Warriors (57-25)
4. Grizzlies (53-29)
5. Thunder (52-30)
6. Rockets (50-32)
7. Kings (49-33)
8. Pelicans (48-34)
1. Warriors (62-20)
2. Rockets/Spurs (60/22)
3. Rockets/Spurs (60/22)
4. Clippers (55-27)
5. Grizzlies (54-28)
6. Thunder (53-29)
7. Kings/Pelicans (47-35)
8. Kings/Pelicans (47-35)
There you have it! If you're going to Reno or Vegas may as well put some money on the Kings to make the playoffs! ***editor's note: don't do this.
Fippin's Hot Takes:
I'm in 100% agreement with this. Despite Nickelback levels of unpopularity, the Kings' offseason has them leapfrogging the Blazers, Nuggets, Wolves, Suns, Mavs, and even the Jazz in my book. Of those teams i'm most worried about Utah and that places them in a three-way race with Sac and the Pelicans, for the last two positions in the Western Conference Playoff hunt. April 2016 could be A LOT of fun.
I had a lot of fun doing this. Obviously you can take this whole thing with a grain of salt, but I thought it would be fun to see what would happen if I put a little more thought into my prediction this year. I actually don't think either of these playoff situations are entirely impossible. In my opinion, the Mavericks and the Blazers will be out. Assuming the Thunder are back, this leaves a spot for the Kings, and I think they are right there with that next group of teams that could sneak in. Obviously there are a lot of question marks going into the year, and there are a million things working against the Kings, but I have a feeling that I haven't had in over a decade. I had a lot of fun doing this series, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it.
Fippin's Final Thoughts:
There's really no middle ground here, this season was always going to go one of two ways:
Complete and total dumpster fire (think any M. Night Shamalan film in the last 10 years).
The opposite of that? One of those movies that ends with a cool guy walking away from a triumphant explosion in slow motion, while holding a can of gasoline, and muttering a badass line like, "Didn't your mother teach you not to play with matches, Spencer Hawes?!"
We're going to know pretty quickly which one of the two it is, but whatever... we're making the playoffs right!? I hate that I had fun collaborating on a Brad post. No one's going to read this, right Brad? Ugh.