The NBA released the first part of its schedule for the 2020-21 season on Friday, and, as expected, the next few months aren’t going to be easy for the transitioning Sacramento Kings.
In the first half of their schedule, the Kings will play 13 teams that made the playoffs last season, including all five teams that finished with a top-five regular season record. In addition, they’ll play teams that are expected to compete for a playoff spot this season, like the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Kings will be hoping to break their now 14-year playoff drought this season, but they’ll have to have a few pieces fall into place right away — most notably Tyrese Haliburton, who will start his NBA career with only four preseason games under his belt. Under normal circumstances, Haliburton would have played a handful of Summer League games. He also would have been able to participate in optional offseason scrimmages with his teammates.
Haliburton and the Kings will only have two chances to show out on a national stage in the first half of the season, as they only have two nationally-televised games this season, both of which will be broadcast on NBA TV.
The Kings will open their season against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 22. Their next two games will be back-to-back games against the Phoenix Suns. In total, the Kings will play the same team back-to-back three times. It’s not exactly the baseball-style schedule that was rumored in October, but it’s definitely different.
You can view the Kings’ full schedule here.