Kings to be tested on upcoming Eastern Conference road trip

Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings are winners of three in a row and have seemingly turned a corner on the defensive end of the court. The groups recent victories have been on the back of strong defensive efforts instead of high-octane offensive outputs.

It’s a promising development as the Kings will need to start bringing more defensive energy night in and night out if they want to sustain their current pace over the course of the entire season. They can be an elite offense, as they have been this season, but in order to keep winning games in the western conference they have to be able to get stops when needed.

That is exactly what they’ve done recently. Now, that task is about to get a lot harder for the next handful of games. So far this season, the Kings are .500 on the road. They haven’t been tested like they are about to be, though.

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Kings face difficult test with upcoming Eastern Conference road trip

As the Kings pursue becoming a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference, they will be measured by how they handle tough stretches such as the upcoming eastern conference road trip.

On the road for roughly ten days, playing six games and in those six games facing off with some legitimate contenders, the Kings are about to show how ready they are to be a consistently good NBA team. These are the tests that will tell us a lot about where this group currently stands.

These are the Kings six games on the upcoming road trip:

Dec 7: @ Milwaukee

Dec 9: @ Cleveland

Dec 11: @ New York

Dec 13: @ Philadelphia 

Dec 14: @ Toronto 

Dec 16: @ Detroit

Four out of six opponents on the slate are among the top eight teams in the eastern conference right now. Players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Evan Mobley and Pascal Siakam are going to present nightmare matchups for the Kings frontcourt.

Domantas Sabonis will have his hands full with his matchups on the road trip. His offensive play has been stellar early this season and he is a focal point of the offense and how things are run, but in matchups with top tier big men he needs to be able to hold his own on the defensive end of the court.

The first two teams the Kings will face off with are among the best in the association at protecting their home court. When shots aren’t falling, we are going to learn just what these Kings are made of.

Notable players to keep an eye on during this seven-game road trip include rookie forward Keegan Murray as well as veteran forward Harrison Barnes. Both have struggled significantly in road games early this season and if that continues the Kings will be coming back home with a worse record than they are leaving with.

It’s going to be a difficult stretch of basketball for Mike Brown and his group over the next week or two. We are going to see how well this team responds to adversity while also getting a look at just how confident they are in themselves when they face off with some of the best teams from around the league. Doing so in hostile territory makes it all the more interesting.

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