Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fall to Mediocrity - Step #1: Tough Schedule

We know you already know, but the regular season schedule is out.

Fans have already started filling out the standings, too. Some suggest that the Kings will start the season 1-4, thanks to a schedule that opens at Houston, at New Orleans, at Phoenix, versus Detroit and at Denver.

Ignoring doomsday prophecies, we looked at the schedule based on days of rest for our team and for our opponents.

The Kings have 17 games on zero days' rest this season (these are second games of back-to-backs). Four of those are at home, and 13 are on the road.

In the four home ones, our opponents are San Antonio, New Orleans twice and Golden State. All of those opponents will be coming in with at least one day of rest (GS with two).

In the 13 road zero day's rest games, two come against teams also on no rest (Houston and San Antonio). Seven are against teams on a single day's rest (GS, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, Memphis, NJ and the Lakers) and the others come against teams on two or more days' rest (Denver, Portland, the Clippers and NY).

Fifty games come after one day of rest for the Kings. Twenty-eight are at home, and 22 are on the road. Sacramento has the rest advantage in 8 of those games (meaning that the opponent is on zero rest) and equal rest (both teams on one day's rest) in 30 games. The Kings' remaining 12 single day's rest game come against teams on more than one day's rest.

Sacramento has seven games on two days rest when the opponent has a single day's rest. The Kings have one game (versus the Clippers) where the opponent has four days of rest versus Sacramento's two.

Five games where the Kings have three days' rest and two games of five days of rest complete the schedule. For perspective, here's how the Kings fared based sheerly on its own short rest and home/road status last season:
2004-05 Kings
0 Days Rest/Home: 2-2, .500
0 Days Rest/Road: 5-8, .385
1 Day Rest/Home: 22-6, .786
1 Day Rest/Road: 9-10, .474

The longest roadie this season will be the January East Coast swing. It doesn't look terribly tough - Orlando, Miami, Philly, New York, Boston and Toronto is how it plays out. 3-3 would be a minimum requirement, 4-2 shouldn't be difficult barring major injuries and 5-1 would have been expected the past few seasons.

There is a tougher stretch in December that reads like this: Miami, Minny, Cleveland, Houston, at Seattle, New Orleans (on no rest), at Minny, at Detroit (on no rest), at San Antonio, at Charlotte, Dallas. That's almost a full month of tough games, with only NO and the Bobcats looking like easy wins. Some also depends on Seattle's expected regression, Cleveland's expected ascension and Minnesota's possible rebound.

The longest homestand is four games, and there are several of those. The easiest one looks to be Denver, NY, Utah and Milwaukee in November. The toughest one would be the aforementioned Miami-Minny-Cleveland-Seattle run to start December.

Phoenix comes to our gym Jan. 17 and April 11. The Lakers visit Jan. 19 and March 14. Sacramento only plays the Spurs thrice this season, once at ARCO (Nov. 21). And the team's first crack at Seattle comes at KeyArena on Nov. 20.

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Editor:
Tom Ziller

The Sacramento Kings are a tough act to follow, literally.

SKB does the dirty work so you can forget about the blood, sweat and tears.

Oh, you'll still need the tears in April, though.

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