Light the beam … in the postseason? Why these Kings might be for real

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Can the Sacramento Kings beam their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2006?

This season, the Kings began the tradition of lighting a purple beam atop the Golden One Center after each victory. Lately, the beam has been working overtime. (Wednesday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks on the second game of a back-to-back, however, snapped Sacramento’s longest winning streak since 2005 at seven games.)

Remarkably, there’s reason to believe the Kings have actually been somewhat unluckier defensively than their 10-7 start under new head coach Mike Brown might indicate.

And while Sacramento can’t necessarily count on red-hot shooting and favorable health continuing all season, that’s rationale to believe a strong start is no fluke.

Let’s go deep into how the Kings put together an offense that has been one of the league’s very best so far, the explanation for better results on defense than we’ve seen and the chances of that resulting in Sacramento snapping what became the longest playoff drought in major American pro sports when the Seattle Mariners reached the MLB postseason in October.

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