The Kings are headed to Orlando for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, but their chances of advancing to the play-in round or playoffs just got a little harder.
Sitting 3.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, the Kings will play eight games at Disney World to help determine seeding and whether or not there will be a play-in scenario.
But ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported Saturday, citing league sources, that the NBA has decided to use winning percentage, not record, to determined where teams rank in the conference standings.
Because teams haven't played the same number of games, this move makes the most sense. But the Portland Trail Blazers will benefit the most among the non-playoff teams in the Western Conference because they've played two more games than the Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.
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Right now, the Kings, Blazers and Pelicans are all 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, but Portland's winning percentage is .439 (29-37), while Sacramento and New Orleans are tied at .438 (28-36). So the Blazers have a leg up on the competition to get the No. 9 seed, which will happen if they are within four games of the No. 8 seed.
Bontemps also reported that two-team tiebreakers will be settled by the normal procedure -- head-to-head matchups, and this hurts the Kings in relation to the Pelicans.
New Orleans won the only meeting between the two teams, 117-115, on Jan. 4.
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The Kings and Pelicans were slated to play March 11 before the game was postponed in the wake of the positive coronavirus test by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. They also were scheduled to play for a third and final time on March 22.
The Kings have been given eight games to try to keep their season going and possibly end their 13-year NBA playoff drought. Saturday's news doesn't help them, but they were playing well before the season was paused, so if they can pick up where they left off, they might be able to overcome the long odds.