Rough Stretch Will Tell If Kings Are Contenders or Pretenders


Playtime is over for the Kings. The first eight games of the 2014-15 regular season was just a warm-up for the new darlings of the Western Conference. Now the Kings will be entering a rough stretch that will tell if this new version of the Kings are true contenders, or the same old pretenders.

Yes, the Kings have beaten some pretty solid teams over the first eight games of this young season. The Clippers are pegged as title contenders, the Suns are also on the rise, and so are the Trail Blazers.

But that same eight game stretch has also not cured the doubt in most people’s minds that the Kings are for real. The Kings lost to a Thunder team that is without Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. When was the last time anybody said that the Kings had no business losing to the Thunder? I’m pretty sure not in the last several years.

As un-pretty as the Kings loss to the Thunder was, it was just disheartening to watch them give the ball away like a department store Santa Clause, and blow a 24 point lead to the Mavericks. The Mavs game, more than any other game, was the chance to prove to the rest of the NBA world that the Kings were back.

But they blew it.

So now, the Kings will be entering a 10 game stretch that will see them play a grand total of one team with a losing record, and to add insult to injury, five of those 10 games are on the road, including a five game stretch that will see the Kings visit the Timberwolves (the team with the losing record), Pelicans, Rockets, and Spurs. Two of those team (Houston and San Antonio) are predicted to be West contenders, and the other (New Orleans) is an up-and-comer.

Live Feed

Is taking a step back in 2023-24 inevitable for the Sacramento Kings?
Is taking a step back in 2023-24 inevitable for the Sacramento Kings? /

Sir Charles In Charge

  • 1 advantage the Warriors have over each Pacific Division teamFanSided
  • NBA rumors: Erik Spoelstra is a trojan horse, surprise suitor for JaVale McGee, Ben Simmons still loves PhillyFanSided
  • NBA Free Agency: Pacific rival shows interest in Golden State Warriors' championBlue Man Hoop
  • Secret weapons to keep an eye on in the preseason for Lakers, Warriors, KingsFanSided
  • NBA legend picks Sacramento Kings over Golden State Warriors...againBlue Man Hoop
  • The Kings does have a three-game homestand before embarking on their nightmare road trip, but those three games (Spurs, Pelicans, and the Bulls in primetime) are far from being easy. So this grinding late November stretch run – which begins in Memphis tonight – will be the true test of this young Kings team.

    This is the stretch where the Kings two main stars —Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins — will have to step up and lead, and Ben McLemore is going to have to be more consistent on the offensive end, and continue his defensive progression. And it wouldn’t hurt if Darren Collison will nurse himself back to health from a bum shoulder.

    In other words, the Kings are going to need all hands on deck here if the team wants to be known as contenders. Are the Kings contenders or pretenders? We will find out on Dec. 2.