Western Conference Standings update: Kings fall out of playoff spot

Mar 11, 2024, 10:03 AM | Updated: 10:03 am

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 12: Domantas Sabonis #10 and De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento...

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The rollercoaster season continues for the Sacramento Kings.

After nearly dropping a game to the 14-50 San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento dropped Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets–another sub-.500 team in the Western Conference–in front of a sold-out crowd at Golden 1 Center.

Inconsistency continues to act as this Kings’ team’s identity, as Sacramento (36-27) holds a 15-14 record since January 6th. For over two months, the Kings have been playing around .500 basketball as they bounce around between the sixth-through-eighth spots in the West standings.

With only 19 games remaining in the regular season, there is no clear path to the postseason for Sacramento in a tight conference that includes six teams battling it out for the final two playoff spots.

Here’s how the Western Conference standings look with just over one month remaining in the 2023-24 regular season:

Western Conference Standings

If it seems like the Kings have started each day over the past few weeks in the sixth or seventh seed spots, it’s because they probably have.

After jumping into the sixth spot over the weekend, Sunday’s loss to Houston dropped Sacramento back out of the playoff picture, as they now sit just a half-game ahead of Dallas and 1.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.

While the Kings have found success against the Lakers this season (3-0), the two old rivals will meet one final time during this regular season on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. Sacramento will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back after facing the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, but Kings vs. Lakers will have immense importance as one team will pick up a game on the other in the standings.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Sacramento will face several teams around them in the coming weeks. The state of the Western Conference standings could look a lot different following these upcoming matchups:

  • Kings vs. Lakers – Wednesday, March 13th
  • Kings vs. Mavericks – Tuesday, March 26th
  • Kings vs. Mavericks – Friday, March 29th
  • Kings vs. Pelicans – Thursday, April 11th
  • Kings vs. Suns – Friday, April 12th

One thing that stands out about the list of upcoming notable games is that all of them will take place at Golden 1 Center.

For reasons unknown, Sacramento has struggled to win games on their home floor over the past season-plus, and Sunday’s loss to the Rockets was the latest disappointing showing from a Kings team that has been unable to take advantage of one of the best home atmospheres in sports.

Twelve of Sacramento’s final 19 games will be at home. If the Kings can’t take advantage of that aspect of their schedule, they will likely find themselves in a Play-In scenario come mid-April.

With less than a quarter of the season to go, Sacramento’s identity as an inconsistent team appears to be valid. The Kings can beat any team on any night and lose to any team on any night. On paper, “Favorable” matchups don’t exist for a team that has lost to the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and Portland Trail Blazers.

Like last season, Sacramento will lean on its top-ten offense down the final stretch and hope they can turn the page on its head-scratching home struggles. If not, a similar end to 2022-23, or even an exit in the Play-In, will be a disappointing conclusion to a season that initially held higher hopes.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will continue its six-game homestand on Tuesday night when they face off against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Kings nearly defeated the Bucks on their home floor during an overtime thriller on January 14th that ended with Damian Lillard’s heart-breaking triple at the buzzer. Sacramento held a four-point lead with less than 20 seconds to go, but couldn’t hold off a late charge from Milwaukee.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Bucks coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

YouTube video

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tuesday, March 12th – Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, March 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, March 16th – Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, March 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, March 20th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 4:00 PM PST

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