With the NBA set to continue the 2019-20 regular season with 22 teams in Orlando, we know the path for the Sacramento Kings to make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
The Kings sit 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. All 22 teams will play eight regular season games, with the top-eight in each conference moving on to the playoffs.
Sacramento’s schedule hasn’t been confirmed yet, but as Sabreena wrote about earlier this week, if the league is going off the previous schedule, the Kings will play: New Orleans twice, Brooklyn, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Indiana and San Antonio. The good news for Sacramento is that Memphis will play a tough eight-game slate, so the Kings will have a good chance at being within four games of the Grizzlies to get into the play-in tournament.
The Athletic’s Zach Harper released his latest power rankings, and gave his thoughts for what advantages and challenges each of the 22 teams that will be in Orlando face when the season resumes:
“My concern is the Kings may have lost any momentum they were building in surging toward the No. 8 seed. They had won 13 of their last 20 games, and Fox was obliterating the competition. But you can’t carry that over, and the Kings have issues with consistency this season. They’re not that good offensive or defensively. They just kind of exist as barely top 20 in both. Will they get enough from their big men to complement the perimeter excellence they possess?”
We don’t know how healthy and which of level on conditioning Marvin Bagley III will be going into the resumption of the season, but he will be a key factor. If Bagley can put up similar numbers to the 14.2 and 7.5 rebounds he averaged over 13 games, it will certainly be a big plus for the Kings.
Head coach Luke Walton will have to figure out his rotations quickly. With Bagley, Richaun Holmes, Alex Len, Harry Giles and Nemanja Bjelica all vying for minutes in the front court, the pressure is on Walton to find the right combinations.
Realistically, Sacramento will have to win at least four games to get into the play-in tournament, unless Memphis completely fall apart.
What do you think is the biggest concern for the Kings as they get set to resume their season.
On to some more links:
Earlier this year, it looked like Sacramento had no chance of making it to the postseason. The Athletic’s Jason Jones looks back at the reasons why the Kings will be one of the squads making the trip to Orlando.
There has been mixed reaction to the departure of former play-by-play man Grant Napear. The 60-year-old opened up with Mark Fischer of The New York Post about the end of his time with the Kings.
From around the NBA:
We have no clue what to expect with the NBA taking unprecedented measure to resume the season. ESPN’s Kevin Pelton shares his list of the most likely surprises and upsets to happen in Orlando.