Kings get revenge on Warriors but now have to prepare for nightmare matchup 

The Kings survived the first stage of the Play-In Tournament.
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Ever since they eliminated them from the playoffs last year, the Golden State Warriors have been a hurdle the Kings have struggled to clear. Now, they have finally gotten their revenge, eliminating the Warriors from the playoffs before they even began and potentially ending Golden State’s great dynasty. 

Despite being the clear underdog, the Kings simply played the better game on both ends of the floor. Between Keon Ellis, Keegan Murray, De’Aaron Fox, and Davion Mitchell, Sacramento was able to avoid another 50-point performance from Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson went scoreless. 

Exorcizing this demon is huge for the Kings, who still need to learn what it means to consistently battle with some of the best teams in the league. It also allowed them to keep their playoff hopes alive, as they now get to face the loser of the 7-8 matchup in a final chance to secure a playoff spot. 

Unfortunately, that team is the New Orleans Pelicans. 

The Pelicans have been a nightmare matchup for the Kings all season long

The Kings generally struggle with big, physical teams, and the Pelicans are the best example of that. Throughout the regular season, Sacramento was demolished and embarrassed by the Pelicans five times. 

Now, they are the only thing standing between them and the playoffs. The Kings have a lot riding on the playoffs. If they fail to make it, it might negatively impact Malik Monk’s decision in free agency, and the Kings still owe Atlanta a top-14 protected first-round pick. If that doesn’t convey this year, it severely limits Sacramento’s options to trade picks this summer. 

It will all be decided on April 19, when the second half of the Play-In Tournament begins, and the Kings go to New Orleans. 

The Kings played great basketball last night, and if they can replicate that, they have a chance, but it won’t come easy. They still do not have the size to consistently deal with Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Jonas Valanciunas. 

Williamson left yesterday’s game in the final minutes with an apparent hamstring injury. So far, it is not yet clear if he will be able to play. Even without him, the Pelicans still have plenty of weapons, however, and the Kings have to prepare for another intense, physical game against a team they do not match up well with.