3 Postseason matchups the Sacramento Kings might be able to survive 

Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings
Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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1. The Oklahoma City Thunder

This one feels almost outrageous to mention. The Thunder are currently in first place in the West with the league’s fifth-best defense and fourth-best offense. They play well beyond their years and have a legit MVP candidate in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. 

And yet, the Kings would rather face a team with little to no playoff experience than a veteran squad like the Nuggets, Clippers, or Suns, for example. Plus, the Kings have already beaten the Thunder twice this season, showing that they can hang with their talent. 

The Thunder are also a rather small team, especially when Chet Holmgren is on the bench, allowing the Kings to play guard-heavy defensive lineups with plenty of three-point shooters, and Domantas Sabonis can go to work in the paint. Even with Holmgren on the court, Sabonis can play bully ball, using his strength and experience to his advantage, 

All season long, Oklahoma City has been a much more consistent two-way squad than Sacramento, however, and might just as well get the upper hand soon. If the Kings aren’t locked in defensively, Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams will have a field day offensively. On the other hand, we have seen De’Aaron Fox go toe-to-toe with the MVP candidate before to lead his team to the win. 

The two teams will face each other one more time in April to decide the regular season series, and the Kings will have to bring their A Game. Every game matters for Sacramento while the Thunder are comfortably placed at the top of the West. 

With how the standings look right now, a lot of teams would have to move for this to be a first-round matchup. Oklahoma City could stay in first place while the Kings fall all the way to eighth in the play-in, they could meet in the 2-7 matchup, or face off in the 3-6 round. Sacramento still has plenty of room for movement in either direction, but it doesn’t look like the Thunder will fall out of the top three. 

Again, this is not to say that the Kings would definitely beat the Thunder in the postseason. The Thunder are an incredibly talented team playing much better than most young teams do at a high level but we have seen young teams fall on their faces in their first playoff run before. The Thunder would be an incredibly tough matchup for anyone, but the lack of experience on both sides gives the Kings a better chance of surviving than if they had to face the reigning champions or the Clippers. 

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