The Kings are three and a half games back with 21 to go and I cannot believe I can say that after everything that has transpired this season. There were tens of games this year where the Kings were one of the worst five teams in the league. That isn’t hyperbole either, the Kings have spent much of this season being flat out bad and now things are falling in place that have them closing the gap on a limping Memphis squad. I don’t get the NBA, I don’t want to. Here’s the thing though, things are about to get a bit more difficult as we close the week. Not to get to far ahead here, Thursday night features a match-up against a Sixers squad that is currently imploding due to reasons beyond comprehension. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid don’t like sitting next to each other in PE, former future Kings savior Al Horford caught whatever disease Dewayne Dedmon picked up when moving from Atlanta and they’ll be on a second night of a back-to-back after getting bushwhacked by the Lakers last night. They’ve lost four of their seven games post All-Star Break and have slipped all the way to the sixth seed in the East. But remember: every game is a trap game when you root for a decent enough Sacramento squad. Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Thursday, March 5th, 7:00 PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
The Road Less Traveled: So I’m not trying to bum anyone out but we might be at the high watermark of optimism for the remainder of the season. These next four games are really going to reveal whether the Kings are true contenders or pretenders for the last spot. Looking past Thursday night’s game for a moment, the Kings have a back to back this weekend squaring off against Damian Lillard’s Blazers and the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors. There’s a less than zero chance the Kings win one of those games and if they can they’ll next square off against one of their largest (physically and metaphorically) foes for that last playoff spot: Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. THIS is it. These are the real four that will make or break the Kings. If they can come away with a winning record, I start to really think that the Kings become a team of destiny and run into the playoffs. If the kids wilt under the pressure of these match-ups, start begging on Bryant to ignore his wedding and start writing his draft takes.
Back to tonight’s matchup against the Sixers. They’re without Joel Embiid, without Ben Simmons and more than likely without Josh Richardson after he played Squish the Skull with the Lakers last night. Even so, this team is dangerous as hell. Tobias Harris has been a silent killer for forever now. Al Horford might hate everything about Philly, but he’ll just use that hatred to better destroy the Kings. Shake Milton, a man you’ll come to curse during this match up and come up out of the G-League and killed for the Sixers. In his last 6 games he’s averaging 19 points a game and went on an insane three point run where he shot 4-6, 5-5, 7-9 from three in consecutive games, hitting a stretch of FOURTEEN STRAIGHT THREES across those games. He’s going to be the guy. He’s that dude. You’re going to hate him for the way he treats the Kings. Just watch. Also, should-have-been-in-Sacramento Matisse Thybulle is amazing if you love watching defense. Keep an eye out.
If you’re hold off on investing entirely on the dotcom bubble that is the Kings current success, I suggest you watch tonight and the next three games to see how many wins the Kings can scrounge up. Not how well they play, not how close they came, not the moral victories that get sold. I’m talking W’s. If the Kings go 3-1 or 4-0: bet the farm.
1-0, baby, with 3 more to go.
Kings: 114, Sixers: 109