Sacramento Kings: Remaining strength of schedule creates playoff hope

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings might have a chance at a late-season playoff push despite their poor record given their relatively easy remaining schedule.

This season has been rough thus far, and the Sacramento Kings have basically been written out of the playoffs heading into the All-Star break. However, with a revamped roster and one of the more relaxed strength of schedules, this team has a chance to end their long postseason drought.

Soon to be coming out of the All-Star break with a 21-33 regular-season record, the Kings will look to continue their recent success. Having lost six straight games before January 24th, moving Buddy Hield to the bench has given this team new life.

Since head coach Luke Walton made a move to swap Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic in the lineup, the Sacramento Kings look like an entirely new team.

The Kings have gone 6-4 since the lineup change, two of those losses coming against the league’s two best teams in the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings should have felt good going into the All-Star break and should feel even better coming out of it. With 28 games left to play until the postseason starts, Sacramento has a real opportunity to sneak into the playoffs if they play well.

Out of all 30 teams, the Sacramento Kings have the 21st easiest remaining strength of schedule as their opponents have a .487 winning percentage.

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Out of the five teams separating the Kings from the eighth seed, only two of them have an easier strength of schedule, the Portland Trail Blazers (.467), and the New Orleans Pelicans (.449).

Still, it will not be a cakewalk into the postseason — in fact, it will not be straightforward at all.

The Kings will face both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers twice each, the defending champion Toronto Raptors, and the second-seeded Denver Nuggets to name the most difficult.

However, the team has two games against the league-worst Golden State Warriors, two versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Minnesota Timberwolves among the easiest.

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If the group is going to make a postseason push, they are not only going to need to take advantage of these more winnable games but win several of the difficult ones.

Although we have only seen ten games of this new lineup, it has been promising enough to give the team a chance.

Newcomers Jabari Parker and Alex Len have still not seen any action with the Kings either as both are dealing with injuries since coming over in the Dewayne Dedmon trade. Both of these players could provide a significant spark and could return any day now.

Whether they have those two available or not, the Kings will return to play with a pair of games versus two playoff teams, the Memphis Grizzlies, and Los Angeles Clippers.

As the Grizzlies currently sit in the final playoff spot, a Kings win versus them would be a massive victory that could begin a postseason push. For now, everything depends on how the Kings play for the remaining 28 games of the regular season.

Next. Sacramento Kings: The obvious solution to the Buddy Hield dilemma. dark

Making the postseason will not be easy by any means, but for a team starving for a playoff berth, anything is possible.