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Sacramento Kings Respond To ESPN Giving Team ‘0% Chance’ Of Making Playoffs

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes and Harry Giles shared their thoughts on Sacramento’s omission from ESPN’s playoff predictions

Coming out of February’s All-Star break, the Sacramento Kings were on a roll.

After a rough stretch that saw the team fall more than ten games under the .500 mark, Sacramento won seven of its 10 games out of the break to pull themselves within 3.5 games of the eighth-seed spot in the Western Conference.

The NBA went into a hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has now lasted three months, with the July 30th resumption date starting to come into view.

The Kings currently sit in a tie for the 10th-seed position in the West with the New Orleans Pelicans–just one-half game behind the ninth-seed Portland Trail Blazers and 3.5 games behind the eighth-seed Memphis Grizzlies. With at least eight games left to play, the Sacramento Kings should have a decent chance to at least force a play-in game with the eighth-seed spot.

Right?

Not according to ESPN’s panel of NBA Insiders:

Zion Williamson and the Pelicans were the favorites here in our March forecast, but now it looks like a tight race between New Orleans, Portland and Memphis.

Even though the Blazers are 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies (currently in the No. 8 spot), a couple of things help their case: Injured big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are expected to return, and the NBA using win percentage gives them an edge in tiebreakers.

Given the parity here, a play-in series looks likely.

– Portland Trail Blazers: 35.3%

– Memphis Grizzlies: 32.4%

– New Orleans Pelicans: 29.4%

– San Antonio Spurs: 2.9%

ESPN.com

In an article released on Wednesday morning, ESPN’s panel of insiders have given the Sacramento Kings a 0.0% chance of making the NBA Playoffs or play-in scenario.

Sacramento, like Portland, is 3.5 games behind the eighth-seed Grizzlies. The Pelicans and Kings have identical 28-36 records and will reportedly play each-other twice over the span of eighth regular season games. The San Antonio Spurs are one-half game behind Sacramento in the standings and have just lost seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge for the season due to a shoulder injury.

Some members of the Kings shared their thoughts on the slight, starting with franchise-talent De’Aaron Fox:

In nine games since the All-Star break, the third-year guard was playing his best basketball of the season, scoring 23.4 points per game on 50-percent shooting from the field.

Breakout center Richaun Holmes was just getting back into action after missing 25 games due to a shoulder injury. On being left out by ESPN, Holmes made it clear that he’s ready for the challenge:

Along with his teammates, Harry Giles III got into the action as well, stating that being overlooked isn’t new for himself and the Kings:

The Kings appear ready to make some noise in Orlando this summer.

With Fox, Holmes, Giles and Bogdan Bogdanovic well rested, the Kings will have fresh legs for their postseason run. With the possibility of second-year forward Marvin Bagley III returning as well, Sacramento could have a fully healthy roster for the first time since opening night in October.