Roller-Coaster Kings Quietly Pushing for Playoffs


On this roller coaster ride that the Sacramento Kings have been on this season, they are heading up right now.

The Kings have won five straight and eight of eleven.  Any talk about tanking for a high draft pick has been pushed aside.  The moves General Manager Monte McNair made at the trade deadline sent a clear message that the Kings want to win now.

The goal is no less than the play-in tournament and Sactown made a big statement Monday night with a 132-115 win over San Antonio, as the Spurs are one of the teams the Kings are chasing.

The players the Kings got at the trade deadline — Delon Wright, Terence Davis and Moe Harkless — have bolstered the Kings’ depth, defense and physicality.  The team got longer, bigger and faster.  McNair clearly addressed the weaknesses that have taken the Kings on a wild roller-coaster ride– win three of four, lose nine of eleven, win seven of eight, lose nine straight.

An unfortunate injury to Marvin Bagley III on March 15th forced the Kings to move rookie Tyrese Haliburton into the starting lineup.  The Haliburton-De’Aaron Fox backcourt was going to happen at some point anyway– Bagley’s injury just accelerated the timeline.  The Kings have won seven of eight with the Fox-Haliburton backcourt.

It’s looking like a match made in heaven.

Fox continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  He is certainly justifying the five-year, $163 million max contract extension he signed prior to the season. On Monday, Fox was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season.

But Fox is not satisfied if he is to lead the Kings into the playoffs.  He knows he has to keep his foot on the gas pedal.

Fox has literally put the Kings on his back, especially down the stretch in the 4th quarter.

Besides playing basketball, Fox was a quarterback in high school.  He showed off his arm with the Kings down by one last Saturday against Cleveland with just 1.6 seconds left and having to inbound the ball from the back end line.  Peyton Manning would have been proud.

The bucket by Harrison Barnes will go down in Kings’ history as one of the top buzzer beaters of all time and it could be a defining moment in Sacramento’s season.

Hang on Kings fans.  The ride is not over yet.  How high can it go?  Could this be the year the Kings end their 14-year playoff drought?

Follow us on Twitter @Kings_Lead for the latest Kings news and insight. 

About Dave Andrade

Sports Director, KRCR-TV Redding 1968-81; Shasta College football & basketball play-by-play; marketing rep; retired, but still doing a daily sports report & commentary for KKXS 96.1 FM, Redding; contributor at Kings Lead

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