30Q | Articles

30Q: Can The Kings Make The Playoffs

The only question that really matters.

As we reach the conclusion of our 30Q series to preview the upcoming Kings season, we come to the only question that really matters. Can the Sacramento Kings finally end their playoff drought and make the NBA Playoffs?

This is the question that hangs over the franchise as the drought is now at an NBA-record 16 seasons. With the Seattle Mariners on the precipice of making the postseason (after a 21 year drought!), the Kings will likely hold the longest active playoff drought among the major sports.

What would it take for the Kings to make the playoffs? Well, things just need to go right. In a perfect world it all goes right. Mike Brown's schemes fix the Kings defensive woes. The Kings get career years out of Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox. The depth and the new acquisitions and the rookies all fulfill their potential. Basically, it goes differently than the last 16 years where the regular season has scoffed at our preseason hopes and dreams.

It's unlikely that absolutely everything goes right, there will certainly be bumps along the way. But if enough things go right for the Kings, they should be in the hunt. Right now on paper the Kings project to be somewhere in the 8-11 range in the West, depending on your level of optimism. But we also know that, based on history, it's quite likely that at least one or two team that are "locks" to be ahead of the Kings will end up closer to the bottom of the West. We don't know which team or teams it will be, but it happens every year. As long as the Kings aren't the recipients of bad luck, they're likely to be in the play-in. A little luck in those games, a la last season's New Orleans Pelicans, and the Kings could end their drought.

It's a long road to get there, but the optimism around this team and the fan base is real. This feels like the best chance to end the drought in a very long time. All that's left to do is go out an execute.

Go Kings.

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aplumley
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September 30, 2022 12:46 pm

Playoffs?

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Kosta
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September 30, 2022 3:46 pm
Reply to  aplumley

Play-in?

More like Laugh-in. Amirite?
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Last edited 2 months ago by Kosta
RikSmits
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October 1, 2022 6:04 am
Reply to  aplumley

The only question that really matters.

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ZillersCat
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October 1, 2022 1:41 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

YUP!
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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
September 30, 2022 12:49 pm

Phoenix
Golden State
Memphis
Dallas
Denver
LA Clippers
LA Lakers
Minnesota
New Orleans

Those are 9 teams that, as of today, I predict will have a better record than the Kings. That leaves the Kings as my favorite to slot in at the the 10th spot for the play-in.

So CAN they make the playoffs? Sure. With a little luck, injures, and possible trades, things could swing to the positive for the Kings. Now WILL the Kings make the playoffs? I’m not betting on it.

I feel there is a greater chance of the Kings picking late in the Lottery than there is making the playoffs. Same as it ever was.

All that being said, the Kings will be better than last year, so that’s a good thing.

aplumley
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September 30, 2022 12:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Lakers? Really, And why? Because they are older? Lakers are a delusional dumpster fire.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 30, 2022 1:02 pm
Reply to  aplumley

They had LBJ for just 56 games and AD for just 40 games last year, and still had 3 more wins than the Kings even if they were a “delusional dumpster fire”

IMO, they’ve added a better supporting cast this year and if healthy, will be better than the Kings.

Vegas has the Lakers winning more than the Kings, and one should rarely bet against the odds makers.

RobHessing
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September 30, 2022 1:13 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

It all comes down to the health of LeBron and AD. The Lakers were 13-11 when they both played and 20-38 when at least one of them was out.

I wouldn’t bet a nickel on the health of those two old sets of tires, but to your point, if they can manage to stay healthy and play (say) even 65 games together, they probably put together 41 wins, which seems to be a high water number for the Kings.

Put another way, if the Kings catch the Lakers, it will have at least as much to do with the Lakers descending as it will the Kings ascending.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 30, 2022 1:22 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yup, when/if healthy, the Lakers should be good. It was just 24 months ago that AD played in all but 10 games, lead the team to the best record in the West and an NBA title in Orlando. The dude is still just 29.

If AD plays in 60+ games and LeBron does just what a 38 year old LeBron does, they are likely good for 40 wins at a minimum.

aplumley
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October 1, 2022 5:54 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Lakers, when healthy, are a .500 team. And their top players are unlikely to be healthy.
Vegas odds are skewed towards popular opinion. The fact that the Lakers are popular so I’ll take the under on their win total.
Yes, the Lakers have a big market and can attract talent. So they will get upper echelon guys willing to sign for the veterans minimum. That won’t move the needle. The team is nothing but bad contacts, no cap room, and no draft picks for the foreseeable future.

Buruskeee
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October 2, 2022 1:34 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s not how vegas odds work. The only thing the line setters care about is what number will influence the most amount of bets on each side. That has more to do with what the average sports better that’s not closely following them thinks the Kings’ record will be, and not what a real extensively researched prediction of what their record will be in reality.

The whole world things the kings will stay a cellar dweller and usually look at previous records. The line started at 32.5 and quickly went up to 35.5 and has not settled at 33.5. That means at 32.5 there was an abundance of betters betting the over and they needed betters to bet the under, it shot up to 35.5 where they started getting more unders, and it’s eventually balanced out to 33.5 where there is more equal amounts of bets on each side. Vegas is interested in the juice and not who actually wins (unless they screw up odds and it becomes heavily one sided on bets).

All this means is that the average Joe Shmo thinks the kings willl win 33 or 33 games. We all know that barring injury this is closer to a .500 team. That doesn’t matter in the odds world because if experts actually thought kings would win 45 games, no one would bet that over on that and it would purely be all bets for the under.

So no, betting against the odds for season long win total predictions is not the same as a game by game odds where there’s trends and data that are from the actual season.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 30, 2022 1:12 pm
Reply to  aplumley

Lakers are two or three players away and have the ability to get any player they choose. Kings have never even sniffed the playoffs with this roster or front office.

RikSmits
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October 1, 2022 6:08 am
Reply to  aplumley

Kings fans calling a team that had won a championship two years ago and won more games the previous season despite being ravaged by injuries “delusional”?

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 1, 2022 7:13 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Pretty much this.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 1, 2022 8:47 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Reality is so unpleasant here.

catterj
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October 1, 2022 6:35 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I would add Portland to your list of those I think project to have a better record. Is your list in order? I think Minnesota and New Orleans will be ahead of LAL and the Kings will be in competition with POR and LAL for 10th. But Greg is right in that usually one team that was for sure gonna be better than SAC is worse than SAC. However, oftentimes one team that was for sure gonna be worse than us is better. The vying for Victor may prevent that this year.

But bottom line is I think the Kings will compete for a 10th spot. My optimistic hope is they get the 9th spot. I would buy an overpriced ticket and cheer them on for the 9-10 playin game. Even if I think this is not the way.

keith_kar
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October 2, 2022 8:32 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I sure do hope the Kings will be better than last year. There’s probably greater than a 50% chance they will be, which doesn’t add up to many more wins.

There’s always a lot of optimism going into a new season. Let’s hope it pans out this time.

jwalker1395
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September 30, 2022 12:53 pm

The thing that makes me optimistic about this team relative to say, the Lakers, Blazers, or Pelicans, is that the team is young, relatively deep, and doesn’t have players with injury histories.

Young players are more likely to elevate their play compared to last season than older players, who are more likely to regress. We may have some concept of the talent on the aforementioned teams in mind, but the Lakers and Blazers both feature rosters at, or past, their primes. While their rosters may take a step back relative to expectations, ours may take a step forward.

Moreover, all three of those teams are relying on major contributions from players that recently had major injuries – Dame, AD, and Zion. The same cannot be said of our squad.

And finally, even if we DO get some injuries, we have solid depth. If Fox misses time, Davion is the next man up. If Huerter misses time, Monk steps up. If Monk misses time, TD steps up. If Sabonis misses time, Holmes steps up. We’re fairly injury-proof on this team. Expectations to perform are diffused across 8-10 guys, rather than all the weight being on the shoulders of 2-3. Murray and Barnes are the only guys without super clear replacements, other than each other.

So that’s why I’m feeling optimistic. Every team can encounter some bad luck, I just feel this roster is more resilient in the face of the unexpected when compared to our competition. An injury or regression from one of the Kings’ rotation guys is far less harmful to the team overall than it might be for any of those other squads.

catterj
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October 1, 2022 5:38 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

This comment makes a good point. However, the starters that might be injury risks on those other teams are better players (at least they have been) than the starters on the Kings that may get injured.

RobHessing
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September 30, 2022 12:58 pm

For starters, I can’t come up with a realistic scenario where the Kings land in the top six in the West and guarantee themselves a playoff spot. Vegas sees the following teams as at least having a shot at winning 50 games (albeit some with big health and chemistry “ifs”): Dal, Den, GS, LAC, Mem, Min, Phx. That’s seven solid, solid teams playing for six spots. Catastrophic injuries always loom, but as of right now the Kings are not catching these teams.

NO would come next – they have to get Ingram, McCollum and Williamson to all gel and they have yet to all player together, but that is a nice trio of talent. The Lakers come after that, with all of their hopes pinned on the health of LeBron and AD. Then come the Blazers and Kings.

So eleven teams playing for ten spots. If the Kings can stay healthy all year they could absolutely crack the top ten. But let’s remember that the #10 spot could earn them no more than a play-in game against the likes of Dallas or Denver or the Clippers or Minny, making the odds of a playoff appearance all that more unlikely.

I’ll give them a 50/50 chance to make the play-in, but a probably only a 10% chance of making the play-in and then advancing to the playoffs. I would still consider that a major step in the right direction for this organization, but I would also consider it the 17th straight year of missing the playoffs.

jwalker1395
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September 30, 2022 1:01 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Agree with this assessment. I do low-key think that Minnesota may not be as good as we’re expecting (not sold on KAT-Gobert, but if it works it’ll be frightening), and I think LAC could easily have a rerun of 2021-22. Those teams both drastically underperforming and the Kings absolutely soaring is the only way I can picture #6.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 30, 2022 1:08 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Agreed on all points. The other playoff teams in the West are just that much better. Where Utah has faded and the Spurs have thrown in the towel, New Orleans looks to take the step up, which leaves the Kings fighting for the 10th spot with the Blazers. I, for one, won’t under estimate Dame. He’s taken his team to the WCS on his back. If healthy, he can carry the Blazers into the play-in on his own.

Kings are gonna need some luck and some help from teams above them.

Hamlet1989
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October 2, 2022 9:10 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Is there also a chance AD stays healthy but, he’s just not the same AD anymore?

Kingsguru21
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September 30, 2022 1:10 pm

I choose optimism. So, yes. 45 wins and a win in the playin gets them there.

jwalker1395
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September 30, 2022 1:13 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

This is the way! I have all season to be a disappointed cynic!

Kosta
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September 30, 2022 1:15 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I choose pessimism–the Kings will only win 55 games.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kosta
RobHessing
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September 30, 2022 1:23 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

According to Vegas, you could go with 34 wins and you would still be an optimist in their eyes.

Kingsguru21
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September 30, 2022 4:30 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I don’t give a rat’s fucking ass what Vegas thinks at this point.

RobHessing
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September 30, 2022 8:19 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

And I’m guessing the feeling is mutual.

Kingsguru21
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September 30, 2022 8:31 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Indubitably.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 30, 2022 9:40 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Vegas uses real stats and logic.

JackassCentral916
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October 1, 2022 5:31 pm

No, they use the midpoint of public opinion.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 2, 2022 8:03 am

Not so sure about that but if they did…..

They collect data (public opinion) and use the midpoint? Sounds like statistics to me.

Buruskeee
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October 2, 2022 1:42 pm

If the Kings won 42 games and that’s where real NBA experts predicted it, and Vegas before the season started out the over under at 40, who would bet the over? The goal of vegas is to get equal amounts of bets on both sides. It has almost ZERO to do with how the Kings will actually finish. Vegas could potential lose a shit load of money if they set the over under at 41 and 99% of the bets bet the under and the Kings finished at 40.

That’s why the lines move, to average the bets more in line with public opinion. If vegas wasn’t based on public opinion the line would never change.

Last edited 2 months ago by Buruskeee
AnybodyButBagley
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October 2, 2022 4:47 pm
Reply to  Buruskeee

Yeah…..and they use statistics to predict public opinion. They also use statistics to determine where they think each team will finish.

If it were all based on public opinion then it would also be statistics.

How would they determine what public opinion is without statistics?

catterj
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October 2, 2022 4:54 pm
Reply to  Buruskeee

I believe you, but then why is Vegas right so often (at least in our memories)? If they just place the line so they get an approximately equal amount of bets on each side, then public opinion must be generally correct or else Vegas wouldn’t get it pretty close so frequently. Right?

BestHyperboleEver
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October 3, 2022 11:54 am

Not really. They use the (moving) midpoint of betters’ opinions. With those opinions weighted by the total $ wagered. And the vast majority of that money is placed by professionals who aren’t just out here going “LOL TEH KINGS SUCK, I”M GUNNA BET AGINST ‘EM.” They are dispassionately using statistics, “insider” information, and up-top-date news to analyze how they can maximize their return on their “investments.”

AnybodyButBagley
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October 3, 2022 12:17 pm

Sounds like a whole bunch of logic and statistics.

Kosta
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September 30, 2022 1:13 pm

Is this a question, or a plea?

 Can The Kings Make The Playoffs
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Last edited 2 months ago by Kosta
ZillersCat
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September 30, 2022 2:55 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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TerzoM
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September 30, 2022 2:00 pm

Playoffs? It depends..
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RobHessing
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September 30, 2022 3:55 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Depends?
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TerzoM
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October 3, 2022 7:05 am
Reply to  RobHessing

De-pants?

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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September 30, 2022 2:01 pm

Cinderella story from Sacramento!

RobHessing
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September 30, 2022 2:30 pm

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Marty
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September 30, 2022 2:30 pm

.

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Kosta
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September 30, 2022 8:26 pm
Reply to  Marty

No Playoffs for Old Men

SuperShaka
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October 1, 2022 4:16 am
Reply to  Kosta

Lakers headline in 8 months

andy_sims
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September 30, 2022 2:50 pm

As you said a lot of factors involved, and a good hunk of them are just beyond anyone’s control in Sacramento. If Davis stays healthy in Los Angeles, they’re an easy top eight pick. If not, that’s a late-lotto team, and we will all laugh heartily.

The Kings will need good health, and for each player to simply be better. I don’t know that anyone needs to make an all-star team in order for the Kings to get to the tournament, but it’ll be a nice bonus if they do.

The question is whether, assuming other Western Conference teams stay reasonably healthy, would it be enough? I think that there’s a narrow window for Sacramento to actually get in, but they’ll need to take the overwhelming majority of close games, and not fumble away leads on a consistent basis.

I do think that Mike Brown is going to hold people to account, and that he will not hesitate to bench guys who aren’t giving and maintaining real effort on both ends. If it comes to that, it’ll be rude awakening time. With the personalities on the roster, I don’t think Brown will need to collar these guys more than once.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 30, 2022 9:48 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

So three games in they are forced to bring Ellis up to start because Brown has held the guards accountable for being shit.

Your infatuation with Ellis makes sense now,

Last edited 2 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
Yakshi
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September 30, 2022 3:35 pm

Part of me feels like being a Kings fan is calling a raise and a reraise before the flop with pocket deuces and inwardly saying “Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease” as the dealer spreads the flop, even though we’ve whiffed the last 16 times in the exact same situation.

So of course we’re going to make the playoffs.

Kosta
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September 30, 2022 3:42 pm

This should be a Nostradumbass question.

Worth 100 points.

BabalooMagoo
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September 30, 2022 6:40 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Funny you should mention that. Whatever happened to Nostradumbass 21-22?

Hobby916
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September 30, 2022 3:51 pm

Can they? Yes
Will they? Doubtful
Do I want them to? Yes

SmoothSactown
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September 30, 2022 8:51 pm

The Kings are in the unique position of complete ownership of the Western 11th seed. The tankers are HARD tanking, so it’s unlikely they’ll serious push ahead. So for the play-ins, it’s just one team. And I can be lead to believe that somebody in the West flubs. Don’t know who, but there’s always a team that gets the bad breaks.

It could very realistically happen, even without being high on copium.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 30, 2022 9:51 pm

By some miracle I hope they do make the actual playoffs.

I would prefer they tank instead of lose a play in game.

fossilizedflatus
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September 30, 2022 10:03 pm

The Kings are masters of their own destiny. Always have been, just like the other 29.

The Ranadive Kings have squandered opportunity most every way an opportunity can be squandered. And the King of the Kings is still in charge. Why should fans expect something different?

Yet they do.

Should they?

I do. That part of me that wants to finally see the end of the drought is finding the glass half full.

But not this season. And if Monte doesn’t get extended, I don’t know when. If he does – then I put the playoffs in 2024-2025. Drought at 18.

fossilizedflatus
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October 1, 2022 9:52 am

My positive for the year, in summary, is that Sacramento loses the A-Z futility in terms of play, and the Kangz graduate to the Kings.

Though still no playoffs for abit.

SuperShaka
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October 1, 2022 4:11 am

Being the least proven of the teams generally thought of as being ranked 7-11 in the West means it’s unlikely the Kings make it to the playoffs. But it should be a close competition. I’m excited to see how the Kings play this year.

TheBaker
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October 1, 2022 7:36 am

Keegan seems to have the work ethic, maturity and mentality to be a solid – if not stellar -contributor on a playoff-bound team. It’s probably not fair, but I place the question in his shoulders: if the rookie rises and claims the starting spot, the it means he is really good, and the Kings have depth and make it. If Keegan sputters and is buried on the bench, they miss the playoffs and arrows will fly.
No pressure.

Bluejohn
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October 1, 2022 1:23 pm

Theoretically any team in the Association CAN make the playoffs. The only question that matters is WILL THEY?

I think there are too many variables this season to make the playoffs a reality. I’m optimistically hoping for a much higher level of play but I think that for this team they are going to need a season playing together before I’d be willing to put any money on them making the playoffs.

Can they make the playoffs? Of course they can. Will they make the playoffs? No!

RPO
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RPO
October 1, 2022 2:35 pm

I’ll predict the same thing I’ve predicted for many years: no playoffs. I’d love to be proven wrong but the team proves me right each year.

JackassCentral916
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October 1, 2022 5:35 pm
Reply to  RPO

Ditto. My heart says this may be the year, but my head knows my heart is an idiot when it comes to the Kings.

eddie41
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October 2, 2022 9:57 am

there’s a good article about Davion Mitchell on basketballnews.com from a couple days ago. with video clips.

SelecaoKOJ
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October 2, 2022 2:22 pm

The Kings will only make the playoffs if one or 2 of the top teams suffer some type of injuries to their star players. Last year, the Pels, Clips, Lakers, Blazers and Denver had key players out for most if not all the season. Kings won’t have that benefit this year.

I believe a Play in is a good possibility. But that is not considered a playoff berth.

Kings will be improved and more entertaining. But, Unless Fox summons the ghost of Kobe. I don’t see it.

Dubs, Clips, Mavs, Wolves, Grizz, Suns, Nugs, Pels. 3 Teams will battle for 9-10. Blazers, Lakers and Kings. I’ll take the over on Vegas wins. But not by much. West is just too brutal.

eddie41
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October 3, 2022 8:41 am

woah, did you all see the review of the Kings by John Hollnger on the Athletic? he starts off by saying past history can’t be determinative of future performance, but then proceeds to rip on nearly every aspect of the team. And he does not even know who Davion Mitchell is!

Kingsguru21
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October 3, 2022 11:07 am
Reply to  eddie41

I don’t see the issue with Hollinger’s preview. It is, after all, his opinion. Clearly he’s not a fan of De’Aaron Fox and if you don’t think the guy can pair with Domantas Sabonis then you’re not optimistic.

I thought the most interesting note was to argue that Davion Mitchell is not an impact defender using impact metrics. I’m not sure how much stock I’d take in that given how the season went.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kingsguru21

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