If the NBA goes to a 16-seed postseason format, the Sacramento Kings would be one of the beneficiaries of that decision. Here’s why.
There is finally progress being made on a plan that will get the NBA back in to action. There are tons of details that still need to be ironed out, including location, format, and to what capacity the rest of the regular season will be played. While every team will have its own feelings toward the re-boot, there are plenty of factors that will affect the Sacramento Kings.
All sources point to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as the central location for the league to resume playing games, though just how many games will be played is the real issue. Most NBA teams had roughly 18 games left to play when the season was suspended back in mid-March, and whether or not the regular season will continue in its full (or any) capacity has yet to be determined.
Another issue would be the playoff formatting. Since all teams are in one location, scrapping conferences and seeding teams 1-16 based on final record only is a possibility. There has been talk of a change like this for years given how heavy the competition is in the Western Conference, and this special occasion might give the league an opportunity to test the waters without the travel logistics to worry about.
As for how this all pertains to the Sacramento Kings, there is one combination of outcomes that could greatly benefit the team.
How Sacramento Kings Would Benefit From New Formats
Let’s say, hypothetically, that the regular season resumes in nearly half capacity with teams playing 10 more games each to reach about 74-75 total. Then, the league decides that a 1-16 playoff format is going to flow smoother than a keeping the traditional East vs. West matchup. This would leave the door open for the Kings to make an 11th hour move to qualify for the postseason.
The Kings were 3.5 games behind the idol Grizzlies for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West when the season was suspended. Making up that gap in 18 games would be a challenge in of itself. So when there were rumors last week of the regular season being shortened to 70 games, any hope that the Kings could qualify for the playoffs was essentially out the window; there was no way that they could make up four games with just six to play.
A playoff berth would become even more likely if the league decided to scrap the conferences for the postseason. Grouping all NBA teams together and then ranking them by record would currently put the Kings just 1.5 games behind the 16th seeded Orlando Magic. While we are unsure of what kind of shape the players are in or what kind of rust they’ll have on their games, it is safe to say that making up a game and a half would be much more manageable than making up four.
Don’t get too excited yet, though. Even on the off chance that both factors break in the Kings favor, the team would still have a tall task at hand. Not only are they a few games back of a playoff spot, but other teams are as well. The Pelicans and Trail Blazers are also 3.5 behind Memphis, and Portland will be a healthier, more complete team whenever the NBA decides to resume action.
For the latest updates on the Sacramento Kings and the NBA in general, be sure to stay tuned to A Royal Pain.