Trying to Gauge Expectations for the Sacramento Kings This Season


The NBA season is almost here, and fans of the Sacramento Kings are pumped. Which makes sense. But would it be wise to pump the brakes a little bit on the Sacramento hype train?

A lot of people are calling for the Kings to contend for the eighth seed, which is fairly open in the Western Conference right now. But that’d be a massive jump in wins for Sacramento–it’ll take a record of at least over .500 to make it, meaning the Kings would have to go 42-40 at the very least.

That doesn’t seem that impressive, until you realize that Sacramento hasn’t even cracked 30 wins in the last seven years. Jumping from being a terrible team for nearly a decade to making the playoffs is really tough, and it might be wise for fans of the Sacramento Kings to realize that before they start chanting “Playoffs or Bust!”

This team is much better than the Kings have been in a while, sure. But winning 40 games would be a massive improvement that should be celebrated, playoffs or not. That’d be eleven more wins than last year, which is a noticeable jump.

More from Kings News

The Kings certainly have the talent where, if they mesh together very well, they could probably push for that eighth seed. Their competition for it is probably going to end up being the Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns, none of whom are world beating teams.

But expecting them to gel instantly and come together and string off a ton of wins just isn’t the smartest plan. Especially considering the murderer’s row of Western Conference contenders they’ll start their season playing against.

Six of Sacramento’s first eight games come against teams that will almost certainly win 50 or more games this season–the Clippers (twice), the Grizzlies, the Rockets, the Spurs and the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.

Oct 17, 2015; Lexington, KY, USA; Sacramento Kings guard guard Rajon Rondo (9) dribbles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans

in the second half at Rupp Arena. Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The other two games aren’t exactly pushover teams either–well, a home game against the Lakers might be, but traveling to Phoenix to take on the Suns isn’t exactly a cakewalk.

If Sacramento comes out of that stretch 3-5, that’s a great start for them considering the competition. It’s not improbable that they do worse than that, either. Starting 1-7 or 2-6 is going to be a tough hurdle to overcome on a team with this many fiery personalities.

It’s not impossible that the Kings band together to go .500 through that stretch, but I don’t think it’s likely. It’ll be more about surviving those teams than beating most of them. If this Sacramento team can maintain good team chemistry through those first eight games, they can probably increase their win total by ten.

If could get ugly. Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins aren’t known for being the easiest guys to work with, and George Karl is about the last coach to put up with a player’s crap. Right now it’s hard to tell how these Sacramento Kings will turn out this season, but it won’t be after their first eight games.

If this team is still getting along great and gushing about how great they all are, this should be a good season for Kings fans. But if things are ugly both on the court and off of it, then it may be best to avert your eyes for the next several months.

More from A Royal Pain