Kings

The Kings Can Win The West in 2023-24

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Sportsbooks have the Sacramento Kings pegged as the least likely to win the Pacific division and are middle of the pack to win the Western Conference.

Sacramento finished 3rd in the West last season and has a young core that is only getting better.

So, why aren’t people taking them seriously?

The team’s health last season seems to be the main reason, as Bleacher Report illustrated in NBA Teams Destined To Be Worse In 2023-24.

“They were arguably the healthiest team in the league last season, as the starting five—Fox, Sabonis, Murray, Harrison Barnes and Kevin Huerter—combined to miss just 21 games. Even the reserves were remarkably healthy. Monk played 77 contests, Davion Mitchell logged 80 and Trey Lyles appeared in 74. No one in the top eight in minutes per game missed more than Fox’s nine games.

Unless the Kings have cracked the code to preserving player health, their most important pieces are going to miss more time this season than last. Combine that with a Western Conference that seems to get tougher every year, and it’s easy to imagine Sacramento losing a handful of wins off 2022-23’s total.”

Numbers don’t lie. The Kings missed fewer games compared to that of the rest of the league. But that’s not to say they didn’t battle injuries themselves.

Domantas Sabonis suffered an avulsion fracture in his left thumb in late December. The Kings’ star big man finished the remainder of the season playing through the injury on his shooting hand.

So, say the team does experience an uptick in injuries. How much of that would be offset (fingers crossed) by having their offensive engine fully healthy again?

Another reason may be the fact that the team just didn’t make many roster changes.

But that’s all apart of the plan for Sacramento. In a league that’s become “championship or bust”, teams are quick to look for new, shiny upgrades. Many will do whatever it takes to acquire those pieces externally.

Sacramento is relying on continuity and internal improvement, which is oddly a little unconventional in the NBA today. Continuity and culture, may just be what sets this team apart.

Brown’s Player Buy-In Brought Kings Back to Contention

Sacramento Kings Key Offseason Additions

A good portion of the conference spent the summer looking for substantial upgrades. Meanwhile, Sacramento quietly added the Euroleague MVP, Sasha Vezenkov and improved on the margins.

Is JaVale McGee going to set the world on fire? No, but he has a championship pedigree and could play an important role as a rim runner and a shot blocker— something the team lacked in the rotation last season. Is Chris Duarte going take the league by storm? Probably not, but after a promising rookie season and an injury-plagued second season, a new home could do wonders for the young ‘fella.

Vezenkov’s role is yet to be determined but he’s a world class shooter and if it translates well to the NBA game? The NBA’s top offense got that much more difficult to slow down.

So let’s take a look at the competition.

Fellow Contenders  

The Nuggets aren’t going anywhere. Their bench may be shorter to start the season, but they’ll be in the mix to win the title outright.

The Lakers are a much more cohesive unit coming into this season than last, and are a serious threat out West. They rely heavily on a pair of stars that has struggled to stay healthy lately, but don’t be surprised if they’re a 50-win team.

The Warriors finally got rid of the elephant in the room by sending Jordan Poole to Washington in return for Chris Paul.

Does Paul start or come off the bench? Do Draymond Green and Klay Thompson start to show some more age? Will Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody finally cement themselves into the rotation?

The Warriors still have Stephen Curry and will be in the mix come playoff time, but do they have it in them to be at the top of the West all season long?

Phoenix made the splash of the summer in adding Bradley Beal, but at what cost? The team doesn’t have a true point guard on its roster and “super teams” like this usually take time to gel. Don’t be surprised if Devin Booker is in the MVP conversation but as far as the regular season goes, Sacramento can absolutely edge them out in the standings.

The Grizzlies will be without Ja Morant for the first 25 games of the season. Memphis has excelled in Ja’s absence in the past but that’s a lot to overcome. They’ll be without their star player for at least 30% of the regular season.

Dallas and Minnesota are both improved but does either have what it takes to make a run for the No. 1 spot in the conference?

Dallas needs a committed Kyrie Irving for 82 games and that’s a big “if”. He hasn’t played more than 60 in a season since he was in a Boston Celtics uniform… almost five years ago.

Anthony Edwards is expected to take a step forward as a leader this season. Minnesota could be this year’s surprise team in the West but they’re right alongside the Clippers in the “show me”, category.

The No. 1 Seed is There For The Taking  

Sacramento absolutely has what it takes to best the rest of the conference for the first 82 games.

The Kings don’t have nearly as many question marks as the rest of the bunch. And what they do have is a returning core that won 48 games in its first season together. Their three best players are 25, 27 and 23. This team is far from peaking.

Statistically, the Kings had the most prolific offense in NBA history last season. They’ve only added firepower to that group.

Sportsbooks may have doubt, but the proof is in the pudding. The Sacramento Kings can win their division and finish the regular season atop the Western Conference.

De’Aaron Fox Light The Beam Bobblehead!

Sacramento Kings Light The Beam

Ending a 17-year playoff victory drought? Yeah, we’d say that’s a great reason to light the beam. Let your Kings pride shine with one of the game’s brightest stars by adding the De’Aaron Fox Sacramento Kings Light the Beam Bobblehead to your starting lineup.

About Will Warner

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