The Sacramento Kings’ Early Schedule Is Tough


The Sacramento Kings play the Los Angeles Clippers twice in their first three games of this season’s schedule. That sentence could be the entire post because it accurately sums up the beginning of the Kings 2015-16 season. Being in the Western Conference is already rough, but the first 15 games on their schedule will be an early test for the Kings.

It will be within these games where veteran leadership and a deep bench should help the team weather the storm.

The Kings are starting the season with a home opener against the L.A Clippers. I am firmly in the camp that believes if the Clippers are going all the way to the Finals, it’s going to be this season. This year’s Clippers have never had a better lineup, and the Kings are playing them twice in four days, one in L.A. They also play the Lakers at Sleep Train Arena in between those games, which should be a win, but that is cold comfort.

The Kings will likely be 1-2 in the month of October.

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Here’s the next five games, in order: Memphis, Phoenix, Houston, Golden State and San Antonio. Thankfully, all are at home except for the Suns, but still, that is quite a Western Conference gauntlet to get through and this is only in the first eight games.

Memphis, Houston, Golden State and San Antonio are all but locks to be in the playoffs this year. But if any of those teams come out rusty the Kings could take advantage. The Suns on the other hand might be a team whose front office and locker room might be even more chaotic than the Kings.

But, if we’re being realistic, that probably makes the Kings record somewhere around 2-6.

Imagine the talk on Twitter at this point. It won’t be pretty. Don’t worry though, because the Eastern Conference exists, and the next seven games are against Eastern Conference teams. The downside is that four of them are on the road.

When Detroit and Brooklyn come into Sactown the Kings have to win those games. They Have To. If the Kings are going to have a 40+ win season this year they need to win a majority of their home games.

That means when probably-playoff-bound Toronto comes into town the Kings need to show up and win that game. That would make their record 5-6. That looks better, but remember this is a team who’s GM, Vlade Divac, wants a playoff birth.

Oct 7, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

When they go on the road to end this 15 game stretch Sacramento will have to split those games. That means if the Kings can’t do it at Atlanta or Miami, which will be really hard to win at either, they will have to walk into Orlando and Charlotte and steal some W’s.

Orlando is a dangerous but young squad and Sacramento should be able to outlast them. And if the Kings want to start wining this year they need to win on the road against teams like the Hornets. Both prospects seem doable.

Even if they win those games, at this time the Kings are only 7-8. There will be posts titled “When Should The Kings Start Worrying?” I’m saying right now, they shouldn’t start worrying, and we as fans shouldn’t either.

The Kings roster will need time to gel and get in the groove of their offensive and defensive systems. Even if they weren’t in the Western Conference the Kings would probably still have a slow start no matter what.

But they also have a more experienced roster and now depth on the bench. And it is a long season with a lot of games to be played.

Sacramento, I believe,  now has the endurance to weather a slow start, to play through injuries and to win the long game that needs to be won if they want to knock on the door of that last playoff spot. A record of 7-8 is manageable. If you’re a homer you might be thinking they can swing 9-6 at this point.

But barring a complete catastrophe, that many still predict will happen to this franchise, 7-8 will be one of the few low points this year. Especially compared to the last 8 seasons. So don’t worry, just be prepared.

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