Kings are in a great position to win first In-Season Tournament 

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

Colorful courts, new jerseys, and a big cash price… After initial doubts and concerns, the NBA’s first In-Season Tournament is causing a lot of excitement for fans and players alike. 

Everyone competes, making the In-Season Tournament games some of the most interesting contests this season. This includes the Kings’ latest game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Going into the game, the Timberwolves were undefeated at home and had the league’s best Defense. They are not an easy team to beat, especially for a squad as undersized as Sacramento, but neither are the Kings. Both teams were without key starters—Keegan Murray and Jaden McDaniels—but other players stepped up to make it a tough game. 

The Kings got off to a hot start, winning the first quarter with 38 points, and used that momentum to hand the Timberwolves their first home loss of the season. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns had big games, but the Kings had six players in double-figures and were locked in defensively. 

The Kings got a big In-Season Tournament win

With this win, the Kings are now 3-0 in In-Season Tournament group games, beating the Thunder, the Spurs, and the Timberwolves. This makes them the only undefeated team in their group and puts them in first place.

Across the league, there are only three other teams that are still undefeated—the Pacers, the Bucks, and the Lakers—and there are only a few games left. For the Kings, the only opponents left in the group stage are the Golden State Warriors, a matchup that has not been favorable for the Kings so far. 

Like so many teams, they struggle to contain Stephen Curry and his ability to decide games. The Warriors have been struggling, however, and just snapped a six-game losing streak, so maybe this is the Kings’ chance to get the better of them. 

They are set to meet on Tuesday at Golden 1 Center, which also marks Draymond Green’s return from his five-game suspension for putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold. He will most likely look to make trouble, but the Kings cannot let that affect them. 

If they play Kings basketball and defend, like we just saw them do in Minnesota, they can take this game as well as their group and advance to the next stage. Only eight teams will go to the Knockout Rounds and currently, only the Pacers and Lakers have secured a spot. 

The Kings are in a great position to join them, however, especially if Keegan Murray returns on Tuesday to guard Curry. If the Kings manage to clear that hurdle, there is really no reason why they couldn’t proceed to Las Vegas and win the entire tournament. 

It won’t be easy—single-elimination games always come with a lot of pressure, and they will have to face some of the best teams in the league—but the Kings seem to be finding their groove. 

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Yes, they lost an ugly game to the Pelicans, but they bounced back to make the rematch competitive and then stormed into Minnesota to beat the top team in the West. If they can keep that momentum going, and not lose themselves anymore, they can hang with any team in the league and compete for the very first NBA Cup.