Welcome, welcome, welcome folks to the final game of the Sacramento Kings 2015-2016 NBA season. After a promising off-season in which we saw George Karl have time to fully implement his grande schemes, only to be followed up by opening the season 2-7 and a players' only meeting, to being in the 8th spot at 20-23, to having to basically unfire George Karl at the last possible second, to the final night at Sleep Train and now, finally, to this.
It's on the road and against Houston. It is a game that won't feature DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison, Omri Casspi or Marco Belinelli, and the game's run time will directly obscure the beginnings of both Kobe Bryant's final game in the NBA and the Golden State Warriors attempting to win 73 games in a single season. And yet, there you will be at 5 pm PST, tuning into CSN-CA or turning the dial to KHTK 1140. You will be watching the Kings game.
You will be watching the Kings game.
I... I don't think it's working Akis. I don't know what it is, but I don't think the hypnosis machine is working! I did everything the Zillerbot said: took them to a raw emotional spot, listed out a bunch of stuff to lull them to sleep. Wait... wait... OH! It says NOT to mention Kobe or Golden State. My bad! Just delete this and we'll pretend I wrote a normal opener to the preview.
Let's talk Kings basketball.
A Couple Reasons to Watch This Game:
Playoff Implications: No not for us, silly. Have you been living under a rock? Basically, Houston wins and they're in the 8th seed of the Western Conference playoffs; they lose, and they're chilling with us on the outside looking in and the Utah Jazz have the honor of being Stephen Curry's four game blood offering to stop him from beginning an NBA End of Days scenario. With four of the Kings best players and only their brick mason not making the trip to Houston, the Kings will once again be running a line-up with Seth Curry as the only player that could successfully complete the NBA Skills Challenge in a calendar month, and Utah is suddenly realizing what a cold, empty place Salt Lake City will be during playoff time. The Jazz are so desperate to get into the playoffs, they have fans emailing George Karl to ship his five missing players to Houston and play them in Wednesday night's contest. No, really.
While Houston is a much better team than the Phoenix Suns, especially defensively, you can never count out the crazy bad that is James Harden tune-out games. If he isn't laser focused, the Rockets will follow suit and give the Seth Curry-helmed, Rudy Gay anchored Kings a chance to extend Utah's season a week.
This is the last game your team plays this season: I could try to harp on how good Seth was against Phoenix, or try to implore you not to watch the Golden State Warriors try to break 72 wins, or Kobe's final game at 7:30 pm, but that would be a bit petty for the historian in me. I won't even say "wait till the Kings game is done then switch". Those are both historical moments in their own right and while I can't stand the fans of either squad, and would rather it was us with 9 losses on the season instead of 49, and that Kobe had retired years ago, I can appeal to your sense of cathartic resolution.
This season has been stress, wrapped in annoyance with a thick ribbon of disappointment on top, but it was another season of basketball in Sacramento. We were in the 8th seed, if only for the briefest of moments. We, as a fanbase, got to send Sleep Train Arena out in a party that was well deserved and long overdue. Progress, however small, is being made. Tonight if you tune in, don't be afraid to step back. A win or loss will mean nothing, other than the possibility of massive amounts of salt missing from a lake in Utah and being found dumped on George Karl's doorstep. We have pieces to build off of with a good mix of youth and veterans. We'll more than likely have a solid draft pick. We have something to root for, and a fantastic fanbase to root with. The success will come. But after tomorrow night, you'll have to wait five months to see it.
Prediction: Seth Curry puts up 17 and 4 in the first half before being injured by a Pat Beverley flying-knee-of-justice. Willie Cauley-Stein takes over as point guard in the second half and dishes 7 assists, and hits 4-15 from beyond the arc. Sacramento wins and Utah fans have to figure out how to put a James Harden beard on the crying Jordan meme. Kings 112- Rockets 106.
For the other side of things, go visit The Dream Shake.