The highly anticipated 2017-18 campaign for the Kings tips off on Wednesday night, with the team facing strong competition right out of the gates.
In the opening contest of the season, Sacramento will host the Houston Rockets before taking off for a road trip that will have them matched up with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
With this slate of games on the radar, here are some things to watch during Sactown’s first week of competition.
Having the first matchup of the season against a team with the caliber of the Rockets gives the Kings a chance to make an immediate statement.
Houston is poised for another deep run in the postseason, propelled by James Harden and new addition Chris Paul in the backcourt. An elite team like the Rockets visiting Sacramento presents the purple and black an opportunity to get the season off on the right foot by notching a big-time victory.
Sactown will also have the benefit of playing against a Houston team that will be on the heels of a road back-to-back against the Golden State Warriors.
The Kings are faced with a slew of travel in the first portion of the schedule, beginning with a three-game road swing right following their Home Opener.
With a young core that includes rookies who are new to the grind of the NBA, this will be a crucial test for the squad.
However, with the high-profile programs that each rookie hails from, they will all carry valuable experiences heading into hostile territory. Additionally, the veteran presence throughout the roster will be especially important into helping the younger players continue to adapt and make the transition successfully.
Young Talent Showdowns
Aside from encountering the established players such as Houston’s Harden and Paul, and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes, Sacramento will also encounter the up-and-coming crop of rising stars on the Denver Nuggets.
Guards Jamal Murray and Gary Harris and big man Nikola Jokic have shown strides in their game during their young careers already. Facing off versus members of the Kings young core who are looking to make their own marks should make for an exciting set of contests.