After nearly four months without an NBA game, the league is poised to begin its restart of the 2019-20 season on July 30.
The Sacramento Kings have officially landed in Orlando, as they get ready to try and get back into the NBA playoffs for the first time in 14 years. After shutting down their own practice facility earlier in the week due to the coronavirus, they will get back on the court as a team on Friday.
Sacramento’s first practice is scheduled for 2 p.m., and they’ll get a three-hour window to use the courts, weight room, and hold team meetings. It will be the first time the entire team will be together again as a group. The Kings will hold their second practice on Saturday and will continue to their preparation prior to playing their first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.
The players will be in the Orlando bubble for at least another five weeks. They play the first of their eight seeding games on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs, and wrap up their schedule on Aug. 13 when they play the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hopefully, the NBA can pull this off without a hitch. This is the best chance for Sacramento to get back into the postseason, albeit under unprecedented circumstances. The Kings sit 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies heading into the restart.
It’s pretty simple: win and get in. Sacramento needs to hold at least the No. 9 seed and be within four games of Memphis if it wants to be a part of the play-in games, which are scheduled to begin on Aug. 16.
On to some links:
The Kings are a long shot to win the NBA title, according to oddsmakers. SI’s Corey Parson broke down the gambling lines for each NBA team heading into the restart, and may put some money on Sacramento to get the No. 8 seed.
Buddy Hield will be mentioned in trade rumors when the offseason begins. The Athletic’s John Hollinger and Chris Kirschner came up with an interesting scenario that would see Hield go to the Atlanta Hawks.
How will Kings players keep themselves busy when they’re not on the court? The Athletic’s Fred Katz gives us the details on which entertainment options the NBA is offering the players in the bubble.