The Sacramento Kings, A Rough but Necessary Stretch Lies Ahead


The excitement and hype leading up to the this years NBA season has come and gone with the tip off of the 2015-2016 season.  We are well into the first week, and though the sample size is small, the speculation and overall thrill of the year will only continue to grow.

After three games, the Sacramento Kings are still figuring it out. We’ve seen a plethora of rotation changes, shifts in the starting lineups, and different players step up and put up fantastic stat lines against important division rivals.

It’s a simple fact that this early into the season, no questions from the preseason have been answered, it would be absurd (but amazing) to expect them to be.  However, after 144 minutes of basketball, here is a roundup of what we do know, and what King’s fans can expect, and look forward to.

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First things first: BOOGIE.

HE DOES NOT LIKE LOS ANGELES. Reports are very clear on that. In regards to the Clippers, he says “I hate them, honestly I do, I hate them”.  And just in case any Laker fans were still holding out on trading for or obtaining him, he had some choice words for them as well.

So now that that has been put to rest, we can move on to more important matters.

Boogie exited the previous game against the Clippers, a 109-114 loss at the Staples Center with an assumed calf injury.  Reports are optimistic, DeMarcus Cousins has been diagnosed with an Achilles strain – and will miss the next two games as a precaution.

The Kings are 1-2 after their first three games, and though both losses have came to the Clippers, they are completely living up to previous expectations set forth in order to have a successful season.   Sacramento don’t have to win each game against the teams that are expected to take the division, as well as the conference.

The two back to losses against the LA Clippers under six points is exactly where the team needs to be at in order to remain competitive down the stretch.  They know they can hang with the elite company, the growing pains will subside and by midseason it can be completely acceptable to expect these three and six point losses to turn into wins.

The next stretch of games will be a gut check for the Sacramento Kings.  They face the Grizzlies at home (11/3), the Suns on the road (11/4), the Rockets and the Warriors at home back to back (11/6-7), and then the Spurs at home on the 9th.

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


To place an even bigger burden on the Kings they are an unfavorable 6-17 last season without Demarcus Cousins in the lineup (via Bill Herenda).  Rondo is going to have to step it up, not only will he need to create and find the options in the half court offense, but his merit on defense will have be tested as well.

He’ll be facing Mike Conley Jr., Eric Bledsoe, James Harden, Steph Curry, and Tony Parker in consecutive games, the man is going to need some help.  Look for Ben McLemore, Omri Casspi, and Marco Belinelli to lend the helping hand on offense, while Cauley Stein and Quincy Acy to relieve some defensive pressure down low.

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The Kings are headed into a brutal stretch in which they will be tested, and it couldn’t honestly come at a better time. The losses accumulated this early can be overcome and are exactly what a young team needs in order to mesh and prepare for a run down the stretch.

Expect the Kings to come out of this week at an aesthetically displeasing 2-6.  Rumors will only grow as much as the frustrations are shown on the court.

What matters most here is that the Kings take the time to experience the gauntlet that is the Western Conference, have Boogie come back healthy, and be ready to recognize their strengths and utilize their weapons in the following weeks.

Next: Ben McLemore Has To Step Up

As much as a strain growing pains can be, they’re necessary. And come January/February, when the games begin to matter the most, it’s a fantastic experience to reach back into in order to find the success necessary for the run the team is poised to make.