SACRAMENTO â During the last 14 seasons of playoff-free basketball in Sacramento, there almost always develops a trend that you rely on. Whether itâs struggling to compete or the Kings once again learning how to win, you often know what type of game you are about to see each night.
That isnât the case with the 2020-21 season.
In the span of 35 games, the Kings have won three out of four, lost nine out of eleven, won seven of eight, lost nine in a row and they are now one really poorly played minute of basketball away from another three game win streak.
The teamâs 123-120 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night was another example of the teamâs wild up and down play. Unlike the previous game where they strung together a series of mistakes, Sacramento battled and came out on top.
âOur backs are against the wall, at some point, you have to take this thing seriously,â Buddy Hield said. âPeopleâs jobs are on the line. Everybodyâs fighting for something and we want to go out there and win. In this league, the only thing that matters is winning.â
At 14-21, the Kings arenât in the postseason hunt, but they also arenât out of it. At any given moment, they feel like a team that is about to live up to their potential or lose every game the rest of the way out.
Call it manic. Call it inconsistent. Call it Kings basketball.
The man at the center of it all is head coach Luke Walton, who is constantly under fire. He has been since taking the job in the summer of 2019 and his seat is only getting hotter.
Walton has the difficult task of traversing a condensed 72 game season in a global pandemic with a team that is lacking depth at almost every position and canât seem to play consistent basketball for more than a few games at a time.