By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
Your “Light the Beam” Sacramento Kings have passed the midway point of this NBA season and the Kings are still holding the number three spot for the playoffs in the Western Conference. Kings fans throughout Northern California and the U.S. are looking at the standings in the tough Western Conference of the NBA and the Kings are ahead of the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans and yes, the Los Angeles Lakers.
At the beginning of the NBA season, most experts expected the Kings to be better based on the success of the off-season engineered by Kings General Manager Monte McNair. However, no one could have predicted that the Kings would be holding the third spot in the standings this late in the season.
However, Kings fans are not stupid and they realize that there still is a long way to go in the NBA season and most of the teams that I mentioned above ALL have superior players that have the capability to get hot and go on a run and leave the Kings battling for a play-in game. So, in order for the Kings to hold on and finish no worse than the sixth spot in the Western conference and FINALLY erase that 16-year drought of missing the playoffs, here are my suggestions:
#1-Avoid serious injuries to either Domas Sabonis or De’Aaron Fox
Domas Sabonis is already playing with a fractured thumb and many NBA experts believe that he should be a starter in the NBA All-Star game in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sabonis is leading the NBA in double-doubles and is crucial to the Kings’ success this season.
De’Aaron Fox, should be named as a reserve in the All-Star game based on his play this season. However, most likely the only way he makes it to Salt Lake City for the All-Star game is as an injury replacement. Based on his fourth-quarter play, he is indispensable to the Kings’ success this season.
#2-Do Not disrupt the chemistry
Many general managers have an itch to believe that they must make a move before the trade deadline to improve their team’s chances. However, most people can see that the Kings can use a more capable back-up for Sabonis and rebounding help. However, in my opinion the Kings should NOT make a move if it means moving one of their top eight players. When a team has chemistry, it is best to not disrupt it. The Kings saw the errors of their ways several years ago when the Kings traded Iman Shumpert and the team went downhill after the trade.
#3- Find Help on the buy-out market
If the Kings can find a rebounder or back-up center on the buy-out market and sign the player to a 10-day contract, then if the player works out, extend his 10-day contract, if not, release him and the Kings don’t lose a good player or draft capital.
Good Luck to the Kings the rest of the NBA season as they are on their way to a historic season!