Don’t Sleep on Sacramento


Last week, the Sacramento Kings clinched their first playoff berth in 16 years — formerly the longest active playoff drought of any team. Then they won their first playoff game in 17 years Saturday.

The King’s success this season came as a surprise. No radical changes were made to a roster that finished 30-52 just a year ago. Many thought they would be the “same old Kings” of the last 16 years.

However, under first-year head coach Mike Brown, the tides have changed.

The Kings won nearly fifty games. They earned the third seed in a historically deep Western Conference. And they opened the playoffs with a win over Steph Curry and the defending-champion Warriors.

Key contributors to the Kings’ vast improvement include guard De’Aaron Fox, averaging 25 points per game, and forward Domantas Sabonis, averaging a double-double of 19.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.

Both were named all-stars this season. Expect both to have continued success throughout this year’s playoffs.

Nevertheless, analysts and fans alike doubt the Kings will make a deep run in these playoffs, even after winning Game 1.

The Kings lack playoff experience, leading many to believe they’ll become lost in a star-heavy Western Conference. But despite potentially competing with the likes of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Nikola Jokic, Ja Morant and Kawhi Leonard, the Kings will be “lighting the beam” A LOT this postseason.

Why? They have the most efficient offense in the NBA.

The Kings averaged 120 points per game this season, the most among any team. They shot 49.4% from the field, the second-highest clip in the league.

They also finished the regular season with the best offensive rating among any team at 118.6, a testimony to the group’s proficiency scoring the ball.

Sacramento also knows how to move the rock.

They ended the year third in assists per game (27.3), seventh in assist percentage (62.2%), and third in assist ratio (19.3), all while boasting the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.02). Simply put: This Sacramento squad creates scoring opportunities better than any other team.

The offensive prowess of this team is not going to just disappear come playoff time — especially not in front of 17,000 Sacramentans who have waited through 17 years of agony for this moment.

The “Beam Team” — as we saw Saturday against Golden State — will have one of the best home-court advantages in these NBA playoffs. Then pair with that their ability to win on the road (The Kings have a 25-16 road record this season, second best in the NBA.) Come late May, don’t be surprised if the Sacramento Kings are playing for the conference title or, even better, the Larry O’Brien Trophy.


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