The NBA season is reaching the point where every game truly matters. That is proven by the current Western Conference standings, where everyone behind the Denver Nuggets is currently jockeying for position. That includes the energized Sacramento Kings, who find themselves currently holding onto the third spot in the west.
It’s extremely unlikely anyone will chase down the Nuggets. That would require a collapse from one of the most consistent teams throughout the 2022-23 NBA regular season. After that, though, just about anything is in play for Mike Brown and his group.
With the Memphis Grizzlies sharing the news they’d be shorthanded for an undetermined amount of time, it suddenly looks like the Kings truly control their own fate in terms of climbing to the second spot in the west. As of Tuesday, March 7, the Kings are one-half game behind Memphis for the second seed.
The more dangerous team is the one behind the Kings, the Phoneix Suns. The Suns are 2.5 games behind Sacramento and they still play two more times this season. As good as the Kings continue to play, the Suns appear to be a high-powered machine already with Kevin Durant in the mix.
Kings can get the 2nd seed in the Western Conference but it won’t be easy
At this point, the Kings essentially control their own fate. Due to the congestion in the bottom half of the western conference standings, though, it’s completely unknown who they would play or avoid by getting the 2nd seed instead of the 3rd seed. Also, it’s still possible for them to drop a bit in the standings and potentially give up home court in a first-round series.
They’re all but locked into a playoff appearance but they still have a lot to play for in their remaining games. If the season were to end today, the Kings would match up with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round.
Minnesota is a good team but considering some of the other options the Kings could face in the west, they would be a nice draw for the Kings as they look to win a playoff series for the first time in a very long time.
While it’s great that the revamped Kings control their own fate in terms of where they land in the standings from here on out, there are reasons it won’t be easy to move up let alone avoid dropping any. They have the sixth most difficult schedule remaining in the NBA.
Memphis, meanwhile, will be shorthanded for an unknown amount of time but can at least know they have the second-easiest schedule left in the NBA. They are without their star but are one of the few teams in the league that can continue winning without their main guy around in the regular season.
If the Kings were to get the two seed in the west it would make this already incredible turnaround that much crazier. Sacramento fans are ready to enjoy the rest of the season and (hopefully) the playoffs regardless of seeding. The chance to finish the season with the second-best record in a stacked Western Conference is something no one saw coming entering this season.
Buckle up. It could get crazy down the stretch.