3 Disastrous repercussions if the Sacramento Kings fall to ninth in the West

Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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The Kings won the first two games after Malik Monk’s knee injury but then fell to the New York Knicks and have an incredibly tough schedule ahead of them. With six games left in the regular season, Sacramento still has to face the Celtics, the Thunder, the Suns, and the Pelicans. 

All of those games are incredibly important to the standings, but the Kings won’t be the favorites in any of them. Meanwhile, LeBron James and the Lakers are creeping up on the Kings. If these last few games do not go well for Sacramento, they might very well fall to ninth place in the West.

That is something the Kings desperately want to avoid, so let’s look at three disastrous repercussions of falling into the second half of the Play-In Tournament.

3. The Kings would have to win two games just to make the playoffs

If the season ended today, the teams in the Play-In Tournament would be the Pelicans, the Kings, the Lakers, and the Warriors. The Lakers are the only team out of that group that the Kings have consistently dominated during the regular season. Dallas and Phoenix are two other teams who have not safely escaped the Play-In Tournament yet either and pose matchup problems for the Kings.

Having to win just one single-elimination game against any of the teams in that group would be tough, especially for the short-handed Kings. None of these teams are really living up to expectations, but you do not want to be the one thing standing between LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, or Stephen Curry and a chance to make the playoffs. 

If the Kings fell to ninth in the standings to finish the season, that problem would become exponentially worse because they would have to win two games just to make it to the playoffs. That might very well mean that Sacramento’s season will come to an unpleasant early end and even if they do escape, they will be going into the playoffs tired and emotionally drained. 

In that case, a successful playoff run—or any playoff run— seems almost impossible for the Kings.