Read ahead for part 4 of 4 of SpikeballTom’s predictions for the seventh and eigth games of eight in the NBA season restart – 8/11: New Orleans Pelicans and 8/13: Los Angeles Lakers
PART 1 AND PART 2 OF PART 3 SPIKEBALLTOM’S SACRAMENTO KINGS SEASON RE-START PREVIEW
EIGHT GAMES TO END 13 YEAR PLAYOFF DROUGHT
The Kings will face four ‘current playoff’ teams in their quest to end their 13 year playoff drought when the NBA season resumes on 7/30 (hopefully).
CURRENTLY SACRAMENTO SITS 3.5 GAMES BACK OF THE 8TH SEED MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (WHOM THE KINGS FINISHED 3-1 AGAINST THIS SEASON…).
The Kings are amongst a menagerie of teams – including the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs – vying for the 8th or 9th spot in the west, and a chance at the playoffs!
KINGS TO FACE FOUR ‘PLAYOFF’ TEAMS
Below is the Kings schedule for the remaining eight games:
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
Kings Bubble Injury Updates
The Kings two young ‘core’ players – De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III – both sustained injuries during practice in the NBA’s Orlando ‘bubble’.
Fox hurt his ankle, but was able to come back for the Kings second season restart scrimmage against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Fox looks like he will be ready for the season start on 7/31 against the Spurs.
Bagley re-injured his oft-injured foot. The ‘second-jump’ specialist will be out for the rest of the season restart.
We can only hope that Bagley and his team will figure out his foot injury – keep working on his skills, maturity and body – and return ready to play a role in helping the Kings reach the playoffs in the future.
For now, I’m just sending good vibes to Bagz. Link to my article – NBA Big Men, The Three Point Shot, and Marvin Bagley III.
SPIKEBALLTOM’S SACRAMENTO KINGS PREDICTIONS!
In my opinion, the Kings need to win at least 5 games to have a chance at the playoffs.
Though, almost more importantly, they need to beat the New Orleans Pelicans AT LEAST once, but most likely twice to have a chance at the 8th or 9th seed.
GAME 7 – 8/11: New Orleans Pelicans
On March 22nd, the Kings and Pelicans were slated to play in HIGHLY anticipated matchup on ESPN – which was cancelled last minute due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
Sacramento’s seventh game of the season restart with be their second meeting in five games with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pels are probably the Kings biggest ‘rival’ in the hunt for the 9th seed in the western conference!
The most important games, BAR-NONE, in this eight game re-start schedule are the two against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Sacramento is 0-1 versus New Orleans this season – that matchup on 1/4/20 ended in a CRAZY finish:
Nemanja Bjelica hit an And-1 THREE POINTER to tie the game at 115 with four seconds remaining! Alas, the Kings would suffer another buzzer beating heart break – this time courtesy of a J.J. Redick under hand floater for the win.
VIDEO: PELICANS AT KINGS – FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS
SPIKEBALLTOM’S SACRAMENTO KINGS PREDICTIONS:
I PREDICT A WIN!
In their first meeting of the restart – LINK TO MY PREDICTION ARTICLE HERE – I think that a mostly full strength Pelicans team will be a little bit more ‘ready’ than a less than full strength Kings squad will be.
In their second meeting, with a few games under their belt, I think the Kings will grab a WIN against the Pelicans.
Things to Think About:
Who will cover Zion – Holmes, Len, Giles? Can Fox outshine Lonzo Ball yet again? Who will lockdown Brandon Ingram? And you can’t forget the Pelicans savvy veteran Jrue Holiday.
I can see the Kings-Pelicans forming into a GREAT rivalry in the years to come. Both squads are young, talented and looking to continue to move up in the ranks against the western conference powerhouse teams of the last decade.
GAME 8 – 8/13: Los Angeles Lakers
The Kings are 0-2 against the Lakers so far this season.
In their first matchup on 11/17/19 the Kings lost in a last minute thriller 99-97.
Free throws may have been one of the big differences in that game – the Kings were 9/9 compared to the Lakers 20/22.
In their second matchup the Kings were blown out – 129-113.
VIDEO: GAME HIGHLIGHTS – LAKERS VS. KINGS 11/15/19
SPIKEBALLTOM’S SACRAMENTO KINGS PREDICTIONS:
I PREDICT A LOSS!
I think that though the Lakers will most likely have their playoff spot locked up and resting their star players a bit.
There is a chance the Lakers will still be vying for the one seed – which many mean they will need a win.
Conversely, even if LA has the one seed locked up, they may want to play their star players regular minutes to keep them rolling into the playoffs.
I think the Kings will play the Lakers well, but their star power will be too much for the young Kings team… THIS TIME!
SLOW STARTS IN SAC-TOWN
The Kings have been plagued by slow starts games, quarters, and the season in general.
According to ‘Sacramento Kings: Keys for the Kings to surge in the season’s second half‘, “… during the 0-5 start at the beginning of the season, the majority of the Kings’ woes occurred in the 3rd quarter and the Kings were outscored 158-95 during this stretch.”
Consistency will be key!
FIRST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE IN 13 SEASONS…WITHOUT SAC FANS IN ATTENDANCE?
It would be AWESOME if the Kings had an amazing run, and made the playoffs to end their 13 season drought.
A question I have thought about as a Kings fan is :
DO WE REALLY WANT OUR FIRST PLAYOFF TRIP IN 13 SEASONS TO NOT HAVE ANY GAMES IN HELD SACRAMENTO?
IN OUR BRAND-SPANKING NEW DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO GOLDEN1 ARENA, WITH COWBELLS CLANGIN’, THE 6TH MAN GOIN’ WILD!
IT’S GIVING ME CHILLS JUST THINKING ABOUT IT!
Just a thought that crossed my mind…
Sacramento currently holds the longest postseason-less drought in the NBA.
The last time the Kings made the playoffs was 2006.
That was with a team featuring an aging Mike Bibby, a sharp shooting Kevin Martin, and a suspended Metta…. Ron Artest.
IS 2020 THE KINGS BEST CHANCE TO MAKE PLAYOFFS IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
This is the Kings ‘best chance’ to make the playoffs.
With an injured Warriors squad not making the playoffs this season, there will be one less spot in the already playoff heavy west in the upcoming seasons.
There are also many teams near-ish to the Kings that are only going to improve – Memphis, New Orleans, Portland, even Phoenix with their young core.
This season may be the Kings best chance – without a change to a sixteen team playoff system, regardless of eastern or western conference, etc. – to make the playoffs in the near future.
SACRAMENTO KINGS ODDS
Below are odds, and a breakdown of the Kings playoff chances by Ben Zweiman of Draft Kings Nation –
Championship Odds: +50000
Conference Winner Odds: +25000
8th Seed Odds: +1100
To Make Playoffs: Yes (+1100), No (-10000)
“As we can see, the Kings odds to win it all were steep to begin with. They improved a bit from before the season went on break with the new format giving them a shot at making the playoffs. The Kings have a lot of work to do in eight games and will need help from a few teams, but it’s possible. Sacramento is 3.5 games back of the Grizzlies along with the Blazers and Pelicans. The Kings play the Pels twice, so they can make up a lot of ground there. Issue is they don’t play the Blazers or Grizzlies.”
WILL THE KINGS GO OVER OR UNDER THEIR WIN TOTAL?
From Draft Kings:
Over 3.5 +175
Under 3.5 -240