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Can the Kings return to .500 basketball under George Karl?

The Kings were near .500 under Michael Malone. Can George Karl return the Kings to that level of play in the time he has left?

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The Sacramento Kings 2014-2015 season will be known for three distinct chapters. The 11-13 start under Michael Malone, despite the 7-21 slump under Tyrone Corbin, and the final 30 games under George Karl. But what will that final chapter look like? With any new coach there's bound to be an adjustment period, but Karl has a history of turning teams around quickly.

The Kings have some beatable opponents in their final 30 games, but this season has taught us that Kings are unpredictable. We know that when the Kings play well, they can beat just about any team in the league. When the wrong Kings show up, the can lose to any team. So despite two games against the Lakers, two games against the Sixers, two more against the Jazz, two against the hit-or-miss Hornets, a game against the Knicks and a game against the Magic, we have no idea if we can actually pencil in those games as wins.

I'd expect the Karl era to get off to a bumpy start. After jumping off against the Boston Celtics, the Kings enter a brutal stretch against the Clippers, Grizzlies, Spurs, and Trail Blazers. Even when the Kings were firing on all cylinders, that would be a tough four-game stretch.

If we look at the schedule expecting the Chapter One Kings to show up, 15 wins could be realistic. If the Chapter Two Kings show up, we might be lucky to enjoy 8 more wins. In all likelihood, Chapter Three falls somewhere in between these two extremes. It just won't be realistic to expect the Kings to adapt to a new system and buy in at the same level they had bought in under Malone. There simply isn't enough time.

The real win for Kings fans is that the next 30 games are essentially an extended training camp, and will be used to build towards next season. The Kings aren't chasing the playoffs, but the next 30 games aren't being wasted.