The Sacramento Kings have a chance to end their 13-year postseason drought when the NBA resumes in Orlando next month. If they finish the seeding games as the ninth seed within four games of the No. 8 seed, they will trigger a play-in game for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Here’s who the Kings will have to play once the season restarts:
7/31: San Antonio Spurs
8/2: Orlando Magic
8/4: Dallas Mavericks
8/6: New Orleans Pelicans
8/7: Brooklyn Nets
8/9: Houston Rockets
8/11: New Orleans Pelicans
8/13: Los Angeles Lakers
The opening matchup against the Spurs, who will be without LaMarcus Aldridge, is a gift to allow the Kings to get in the swing of things against an overmatched opponent. Sacramento also has the benefit of not playing the Lakers until the final game of the season, at which point the West no. 1 seed will theoretically resting before the start of the playoffs.
The key games here are the two contests against New Orleans, who figure to be Sacramento’s primary challenger for the No. 9 seed. Those two meetings, along with games against Brooklyn and Orlando, figure to be must-wins for the Kings. The game against Orlando will be on the second night of their only back-to-back.
These are essentially the eight games we projected Sacramento would have to play back when the restart format was approved. The Kings were 3-9 against these teams during the regular season before the hiatus.
Luke Walton and Vlade Divac each expressed their excitement at being able to pursue a playoff spot while finishing the season safely and securely in the team’s release:
“We are looking forward to this opportunity in Orlando, and getting back to playing the game we love,” said Kings Head Coach Luke Walton. “We continue to work with the NBA to prioritize health and safety, while recognizing our responsibility to use our platform to bring attention and drive sustained action to issues of racial injustice.”
“We are thankful for the chance to restart the season while also remaining focused on using our platform to make a positive difference and drive meaningful change in our community,” said Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “We continue collaborating with the league as we all work to resume play in a safe and responsible manner.”
What do you think Sacramento’s record will be in the eight seeding games?