Sacramento Kings Qualify For Playoffs For First Time In Nearly Two Decades

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Seth Roy Contributor
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The Sacramento Kings are heading back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 after defeating the Portland Trailblazers by forty points at the Moda Center on Wednesday. Their victory has ensured them homecourt advantage during the opening round of the postseason.

Rookie forward Keegan Murray was the star of Sacramento’s historic victory. He had 13 points and shot 3-7 from three-point range. Murray broke the record for most three-pointers ever made in a rookie campaign (188) with his third make of the game.

Murray and former Atlanta Hawk Kevin Huerter have been shooting the lights out for the Kings this season. Both guys are in the top 20 in the NBA this season in made three-pointers. They’ve nearly knocked down 400 threes this season combined. Huerter and Murray are both shooting the rock over 40.5 % from behind the arc this year, according to ESPN. They’ve been an integral part in turning around this franchise.

The Kings primary ball handlers are All Stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. They’re the two leading scorers on the team this season. All year long, Sabonis and Fox have dissected defenses in the NBA with a deadly pick and roll attack. Not only is Fox speedy quick but he makes all the correct passes and often finds his pal Sabonis in the paint where he eats and makes his living.

For evidence about how good Sabonis has been in his first full season in Sacramento, this possession of him on the court Wednesday pretty much sums up how he’s been playing the entire season.

No one in the NBA can quite keep up with Sacramento’s offense. This season, the Kings average the most points in league with 121 per game. The play of Fox, Sabonis, Murray and Huerter has been the league’s best. From watching how they’ve been playing lately, it’s going to be really difficult for somebody in the playoffs to beat them.

The only teams that I think would give them a run for their money are Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. The Suns are playing with four All Stars in their starting-five since acquiring KD at the trade deadline, and the Warriors are the head honchos of the NBA until somebody knocks them off their thrones. Being how Sacramento is a little inexperienced when it comes to playing in the playoffs, I wouldn’t be shocked if those two teams defeated them in the opening rounds.

But other than that, I think they have a good shot at winning the West. They look and feel like the next juggernauts of the Western for the next 5-10 years. The Kings oldest player is NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova, who is only 32-years-old. The second oldest player on their roster is Harrison Barnes, who is only 30 and playing some the best basketball of his life. (RELATED: Chicago Bulls’ Andre Drummond Gets Rid Of Social Media And Changes His Phone Number To Improve Mental Health)

In closing, look how much fun head coach Mike Brown has been having with this Kings squad since preseason started.

You gotta love it. All hail to the beam.