Sitting at 10-10, Kings in prime position to go on run
The Sacramento Kings have been the surprise of the NBA this season. Currently sitting at 10-10, they have reached double digits in wins the quickest since the 2004-05 Kings. That team went on to lose to the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the playoffs.
While playoffs are still a pipe dream with the season only 20 games in, the current Kings do have something going for them: They have made it through the hardest stretch of the season.
The Kings have one more game remaining in November, against the Los Angeles Clippers, which will wrap up a month in which they played 13 games, 12 of them against projected playoff teams. The Atlanta Hawks are the only exception. By comparison, the Kings will play 15 games in December with only 11 games against projected playoff teams.
The NBA features a playoff system in which over half of the teams in the league make the playoffs, therefore it is more likely you will have a month in which you play more projected playoff teams than not.
A team catches a break when it gets to face a team at the bottom of the standings, like the Phoenix Suns, multiple times in a relatively short amount of time. For example, the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Suns three times in a span of 11 games. They won all three contests, which contributed to a 10-1 run after starting the season 0-4.
After December, the Kings' schedule gets considerably easier. They will have 46 games remaining, with only 28 games against projected playoff teams.
January could be the month for the Kings to go on a run. After starting the month out with the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors, they will play eight games with only three games against expected playoff teams. The Kings will then face the Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies and Clippers before finishing the month out against the Hawks.
To make a long story short, the Kings weathered the storm to begin the season. They are staying afloat, playing .500 basketball, with a so-so month on the way. If the Kings are still hovering around .500 come the new year, watch out for a Kings run. Their schedule forecasts it.