Sacramento Kings schedule by the numbers: back-to-backs, national TV games

Aug 18, 2023, 9:17 AM | Updated: 10:34 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings celebrates with ...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The release of the NBA schedule always gets basketball fans’ juices flowing.

There they are, dates that you can officially plug into your calendars for this fall, winter, and spring, days that you will spend at your favorite arena taking in some prime entertainment.

One minor issue: We’re still two months away from the start of the NBA season.

While we wait for Sacramento Kings basketball to return, let’s look at the 2023-24 regular season schedule and some of the notable occurrences on the calendar.

The NBA is leaning into the Kings vs. Warriors budding rivalry

Before the entire 2023-24 schedule dropped, it was reported by several sources that the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors would play three of their four regular season matchups in front of a national audience.

On the heels of April’s nail-biting seven-game series between the two Pacific Division foes, the NBA has taken note by ordering the two teams to play on national TV not once, not twice, but three times this coming season.

According to ESPN’s Ben Cafardo, April 30th’s Game 7 matchup between the two Northern California heavyweights brought in an average TV audience of 9.8 million, peaking at 11.9 million viewers at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Kings vs. Warriors playoff series was the most-watched first-round series ever for the NBA’s Disney platforms (ESPN and ABC), meaning that if we see more drama from these two teams this season, more national attention will follow.

Warriors star Stephen Curry is no stranger to bringing in large TV audiences, but the young-and-fun Kings brought in some new eyeballs during the playoffs with their competitive style of play.

Get used to seeing the Kings and Warriors battle it out on ESPN and TNT, as the teams will play the following games on national TV:

  • Friday, October 27th vs. Warriors (ESPN) – Sacramento home opener
  • Tuesday, November 28th vs. Warriors (TNT) – NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play
  • Thursday, January 25th @ Warriors (TNT)

Rest, Rest, Rest

Sacramento might have the fourth-hardest regular season schedule per Tankathon, but the NBA threw them a bone in the form of rest advantage.

According to NBA journalist Matt Moore, the Kings hold the second-most rest advantages of any team in the league this season, meaning they will enter the night of a game on a more extended period of rest than their opponent.

While rest sounds great for any professional sports team, days off didn’t do the Sacramento many favors in 2022-23. The Kings actually fared better on less rest during their 48-win season:

Sacramento Kings record on Days of Rest

  • 0 days: 8-7
  • 1 day: 32-17
  • 2 days: 7-7
  • 3+ days: 1-3

That’s right. On zero-to-one days of rest, Sacramento held a 40-24 record in 2022-23, versus an 8-10 record on two or more days away.

For aging teams, more days off is a valuable thing. For a young team like the Kings, it appears time away from the floor didn’t do them any favors last season. Will that be the case again this year?

Hopefully, this time around, Sacramento can take advantage of their rest days and use their fresh legs to attack tired-out opponents.

Limited Back-to-Back Travel

Last season, Sacramento had multiple back-to-backs that resulted in the team playing a game on the road one night, then at home the next.

Some of those home-road-back-to-backs entailed travel across multiple states, like January 3-4th, where the Kings pulled out a narrow 117-115 win in the first game, before flying back that night and facing the Atlanta Hawks at home the following evening.

After spending most of the prior night traveling back from Salt Lake City, Sacramento lost by three points to the Hawks in a game that went down to the wire. While some players might not admit it publicly, home-road back-to-backs are very demanding if the trip is out of state.

In 2023-24, the Kings will play all home-road back-to-backs in California:

  • Dec. 11 & 12: vs. BKN, @ LAC
  • Feb. 25 & 26: @ LAC, vs. MIA
  • Mar. 6 & 7: @ LAL, vs. SAS

Did Somebody Order Some National TV Games?

If you wanted to see more Sacramento Kings games on ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV, you got your wish–and then some.

The Kings will play 22 games in front of a national audience in 2023-24:

  • 5 on ESPN
  • 6 on TNT
  • 11 on NBA TV

Here are all of Sacramento’s ESPN and TNT games:

  • Friday, October 27th vs. Golden State Warriors (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, November 15th @ Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN)
  • Friday, November 17th @ San Antonio Spurs (ESPN)
  • Tuesday, November 28th vs. Golden State Warriors (TNT)
  • Thursday, January 25th @ Golden State Warriors (TNT)
  • Tuesday, February 13th @ Phoenix Suns (TNT)
  • Sunday, February 25th @ Los Angeles Clippers (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, March 13th vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN)
  • Tuesday, March 26th vs. Dallas Mavericks (TNT)
  • Tuesday, April 2nd vs. Los Angeles Clippers (TNT)
  • Thursday, April 11th vs. New Orleans Pelicans (TNT)

As previously pointed out in this article, the Kings and Warriors will play three out of their four regular season matchups on ESPN or TNT.

Another interesting aspect of Sacramento’s national TV slate is the fact they will face both Los Angeles teams twice in front of an expanded audience.

After playing one of the most entertaining games in recent NBA history–a game that was the second-highest-scoring game of all time–the Kings will play the Clippers twice on national TV.

Of Sacramento’s 22 nationally broadcasted games, 16 will take place at Golden 1 Center, as the NBA apparently noticed how Kings fans showed up in numbers–and decibels–during the 2022-23 Playoffs.

There are plenty of things to like about the new schedule, but now we wait–at least for another month before training camps open up in late September.

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule

  • Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason Opener)
  • Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
  • Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule

  • Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
  • Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM (Season Opener)
  • Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)

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