2 Things Kings fans should root for, 2 to root against to close the season

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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Kings fans should root against a deep playoff run for the Thunder

We are witnessing a changing of the guards in the NBA. LeBron James’, Kevin Durant’s, and Stephen Curry’s teams are all play-in teams and might not even make the playoffs. New teams are claiming the top of the West, and the Kings want to be in the mix. 

Rather than doing that this season, they are on the outside looking in, however. The Oklahoma City Thunder, the second-youngest team in the league, are not. They are at the top of the West, preparing for their first playoff run. 

We have seen this before. Last season, the Kings and the Grizzlies were both at the top of the conference and are now not playing as well. Sometimes, things just go your way, and the Thunder still have to prove that they are legit. Because they are so far ahead of schedule and have not proven themselves in the playoffs yet, people still doubt them.

With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren as well as some nice surrounding pieces, the Thunder have all the ingredients to build an NBA powerhouse, however. It seems that at this point it is inevitable that they will become one of the best teams in the league. 

The Kings would love it if that could wait a little bit, however. The Thunder are younger but currently in a much better position than the Kings. Sacramento needs time to catch up with the likes of Oklahoma, Denver, Minnesota, and Memphis in terms of roster construction. If the Thunder find playoff success this season, it might be too late. 

In that case, the Kings would have to deal with two monsters in the West—the Thunder and the Nuggets—every season from now on and that will hurt their chances of having long-term playoff success. The Clippers have an expiration date, the Timberwolves have some financial issues to figure out, and the Grizzlies need to get things back on track first. Once the Thunder establish themselves as a true force in the West, though, they are not going anywhere.