Basketball

Predictions: 22 Games to Determine the Sacramento Kings Playoff (Play-In) Hopes

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The NBA All-Star break has come and gone, with NO Sacramento Kings being selected/voted into the game, again. In my opinion, that is a GREAT thing for this 22-38 overall Sacramento Kings team who added 6 new members to the squad and traded 4 previous members of the team at the 2/10 NBA trade deadline. The new-look Kings need this time to grow together as a team, in hopes of making a push for an NBA playoff ‘Play-In’ berth during the final 22 games of their season.

In case you forgot, the Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. Will this be the season that drought ends?

In This Article

  • Current NBA Western Conference Play-In Picture
  • To Tank or Not to Tank?
  • NBA Playoff Play-In EXPLAINED
  • My Predictions on ALL 22 Games Remaining for the Sacramento Kings
  • Stats, References, Strength of Schedule, Home/Road Records

Sacramento Kings Remaining Schedule

Current NBA Standings

NBA standings as of Thursday, 2/22/22. The Kings currently sit at 12th in the NBA western conference, 22-38 overall.

The teams whom the Kings will most likely be battling with for the 10th and final ‘Play-In’ seed are: Current 11th/12th seeds San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans (both with 23-36), 10th seed Portland Trail Blazers (25-34), and 9th seed Los Angeles Lakers (27-31).

Tanks But No Tanks

Simply put, *BLANK* tanking.

A good bit of data about the Sacramento Kings draft selection chances from the most recent ‘Sunday Musings’ article by James Ham of the Kings Beat,

Only five teams in the NBA have a worse record than Sacramento at this point in the season. If we froze the league now, the Kings would have a 9 percent chance of landing the top pick, 9.2 percent chance of moving up to No. 2, a 9.4 percent chance of No. 3 and a 9.6 percent opportunity of landing No. 4.

James Ham

I was listening to the latest episode of The Locked On Kings Podcast with Matt George, guest and long time Kings media member Sean Cunningham stated it well,

Explained: NBA Playoff ‘Play-In’

The NBA added a playoff ‘play-in’ during the modified 2019-20 season. NBA.com released a Playoff Play-In FAQ outlining the format of the added play-in tournament.

“At the conclusion of the regular season but before the first round of the playoffs, the team with the 7th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 8th-highest winning percentage in a Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”).

The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference will earn the No. 7 seed. The team with the 9th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 10th-highest winning percentage in the “Nine-Ten Game”.

The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game in each conference will earn the No. 8 seed.”

NBA.com

The play-in is great in many aspects, in my opinion. Simply put, there are more meaningful regular season and playoff games for fans to watch.

Also, there is more reason for teams outside of the 8th seed to play hard to the finish of the season, and not ‘tank.’ Overall, I think it makes for a more competitive and fun to watch NBA!

Tom’s Predictions: Kings Final 22 Regular Season Games

2/24: vs Denver NuggetsLOSS

2/26: @ Denver Nuggets – LOSS

2/28: @ Oklahoma City ThunderWIN

3/2: @ New Orleans Pelicans – WIN

3/3: @ San Antonio Spurs – LOSS

3/5: @ Dallas MavericksLOSS

3/7: vs. New York KnicksWIN

3/9: vs. Denver Nuggets – LOSS

3/12: @ Utah JazzLOSS

3/14: vs. Chicago BullsLOSS

3/16: vs. Milwaukee BucksLOSS

3/18: vs. Boston CelticsWIN

3/20: vs. Phoenix SunsLOSS

3/23: @ Indiana PacersWIN

3/26: @ Orlando MagicWIN

3/28: @ Miami HeatLOSS

3/30: @ Houston RocketsWIN

4/1: @ Houston Rockets – LOSS

4/3: vs. Golden State WarriorsLOSS

4/5: vs. New Orleans Pelicans – WIN

4/9: @ Los Angeles ClippersWIN

4/10: @ Phoenix Suns – WIN

That puts the Kings at 10-12 in their final 22 games, 32-50 overall.

Unfortunately … I do NOT think that record will be good enough for the 10th and final ‘Play-In’ seed. It seems as though the Trail Blazers are potentially looking to ‘tank’ to re-tool for next season and beyond, but it seems like the Pelicans, Spurs and Lakers are looking to make the playoffs/play-in.

For the Sports Bettors:

Strength of Schedule

Sacramento has the 9th toughest strength of schedule (.509) in the NBA over the remainder of the NBA season, according to Tankathon.

The ‘strength of schedule’ for the Sacramento Kings ‘rivals’ in their pursuit of the 10th and final ‘Play-In’ seeds are currently: LA Lakers (3rd), New Orleans (7th), San Antonio (12th), Portland (29th).

I am HOPEFUL that when the Kings play some of the ‘better’ teams on their remaining schedule, those teams will have solidified their playoff spots, and rest some players/not be fully engaged. That’s hoping for a LOT.

Home Sweet Home

Sacramento has been far better at home compared to the road this season. The Kings are 15-17 at home, and 7-21 on the road. Sacramento has 8 home games and 14 road games remaining.

Over their previous 10 home games, the Kings are 5-5.

Over their previous 10 road games the Kings are 1-9.

SEGABABA Genesis

The Kings are not great on the Second Game of a Back to Back (SEGABABA) this season, going 4-8 so far on games with 0 days of rest.

The Kings will have two more back-to-backs over their final 22 contests.

One of the most important being on 3/2-3/3 when they face fellow western conference ‘Play-In’ hopefuls, New Orleans and San Antonio, both on the road.

That two game stretch could very well eliminate the Kings hopes, or really catapult them into true ‘Play-In’ contention! The Kings better get their rest and eat their Wheaties!

Room to Improve

Sacramento has a LOT of room to improve. One of those areas that has a lot of room for improvement is the contribution of Richaun Holmes. Sidelined by multiple unfortunate injuries, Holmes has been a non-factor for much of the season.

Can Holmes find his groove and be a positive contributor for the Kings over their final 22 game push? Would you like to see Holmes and Domantas Sabonis on the floor at the same time?

What Do YOU Think

I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!

If you want to share your opinion, stats, homemade tacos you concocted for the game … let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

https://linktr.ee/sactowncrown

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Tom Witt has been in sports media for just under a decade. He started off freelancing, earning a role as an editor and Sacramento Kings writer at Overtime Heroics.

He also is an avid Spikeball fan/competitor (roundnet is the name of the sport played on Spikeball equipment) - Tom is also the head editor at the Roundnet World blog.

1 comment

  • Daren Briare says:

    Always a good read! Appreciate the info Tom.
    Love the idea of Holmes a bit more with Sabonis.
    Holding you to those picks as well lol . Keep up the good writing.

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