NBA schedule 2019-20: Sacramento Kings games you need to know for season

NBA schedule 2019-20: Sacramento Kings games you need to know for season

The NBA season is drawing near. We still have more than a month before training camp opens, but the season will be here before you know it.

For the Sacramento Kings, it’s a season of transition. With a new coaching staff and plenty of offseason additions, Sacramento needs to hit the ground running if they hope to snap their 13-year playoff drought. 

On Monday, the NBA signaled the winddown of the summer break when they announced the 82 game schedule for all 30 teams. 

Here are some of the things you have to know from this season’s Kings campaign.

Nuts and Bolts

The Kings will open the 2019-20 campaign in Phoenix against Devin Booker and the Suns on October 23. It’s a chance for former high school teammates Marvin Bagley and Deandre Ayton to match up and continue their rivalry. Sacramento won three out of four last season against the Suns.

After playing the Suns, the Kings travel home where they’ll open their home slate at Golden 1 Center on Oct. 25 with a battle against the Portland Trail Blazers. Sacramento allowed Portland to come back from a huge deficit in the final game of the 2018-19 season. The Kings should remember that loss well. 

Sacramento has 13 sets of back-to-backs, two shy of last season’s total of 15 sets. Of those 13 sets, two are home-and-home, five are away-and-away, two are away-and-home and four are home-and-away.

The Kings hit the road for their longest trip away from home in mid-January, stopping in Utah, Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota between Jan. 18-27. It’s a similar trip to the one the Kings underwent last season from Jan. 17-27, although the NBA jammed in an extra game last year. 

The longest homestand for the Kings is six games between March 26 and April 5. They’ll host the Hawks, Pacers, Spurs, Clippers, Lakers and Cavs before venturing back out on the road.

From Dec. 23 to Jan. 15, the Kings play 10 out of 12 games at home. They’ll host the Rockets, T-Wolves and Suns before traveling to Denver for a game. They’ll come back home to play the Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Warriors before a quick stop in Phoenix. They’ll finish off the set at home against the Bucks, Magic and Mavs.    

Pacific Division rivals

Sacramento matches up with the new-look Warriors four times this season. They’ll get their first taste of Chase Center in San Francisco on Dec. 15. The two teams will meet again on Jan. 6 at Golden 1 and then back to Chase Center coming out of the All-Star break on Feb. 25. Sacramento finishes the 2019-20 season with one more battle against their closest geographic rival at home on April 15. Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins are all gone and Klay Thompson is expected at least two of the four matchups between the two teams. The Warriors added former Kings big man Willie Cauley-Stein and volume scorer D’Angelo Russell in a wild summer of roster turnover.

The Kings battle another new version of the Los Angeles Lakers beginning on Nov. 15 at Staples Center. The Lakers have added Cousins, along with superstar big man Anthony Davis to the squad. The Kings won’t see the Lakers for a second time until Feb. 1 at Golden 1 Center and then again not until April 4 and April 14. The league likely will get a gift basket from the Kings for finishing off the season with a back-to-back against the Lakers and Warriors. 

The Lakers bulked up, but they might not be the best team in LA. The Clippers pulled off a coup when they landed a pair of star forwards in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They were able to keep much of their core together, including the high-scoring bench duo of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Sacramento’s four games against the Clippers are paced out with the first one coming in Sacramento on Dec. 31. The two teams will meet in LA on Jan. 30 and Feb. 22 and then finish off the four-game set at home on April 2.

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Other games of intrigue

Sacramento faces Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and his Dallas Mavericks for the first time on Dec. 8. The Kings passed on Doncic during the 2018 NBA Draft, instead selecting Marvin Bagley with the No. 2 overall selection. 

Kings fans will get their first look at highly-touted top overall pick Zion Williamson on Jan. 4 when the New Orleans Pelicans roll through Sacramento.

NBA Rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to promote 'Education Reform' in Orlando

NBA Rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to promote 'Education Reform' in Orlando

The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.

The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.

In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”

According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.

Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.

“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”

Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.

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“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.

Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.

Troy Daniels’ NBA bubble meal photos show what awaits Kings in Orlando

Troy Daniels’ NBA bubble meal photos show what awaits Kings in Orlando

When the Kings arrive at the Yacht Club hotel in the Disney World complex Wednesday, the food they are given might not be what they are used to consuming on a daily basis.

Several NBA teams, including the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets, arrived in Orlando on Tuesday, and a few players posted photos of the food he received.

Nuggets guard Troy Daniels posted two images on his Instagram Story on Tuesday night.

Here's the menu provided to Daniels:

Fresh Garden Greens, Arugula, 
Watermelon, Pickled Red Onions, Goat 
Cheese with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad
Italian Grilled Chicken with Natural Jus
White fish with Tomato and Dill Topping
Pamesan Polenta with Sundried Tomatoes
Pasta with Impossible Bolognese Sauce
Roasted Summer Vegetables

Nets point guard Chris Chiozza posted a photo of the full meal.

Former Kings guard Isaiah Thomas saw the photos Daniels posted, and figured there's no way Lakers superstar LeBron James would eat the spread.

While that menu is pretty extensive, most high-level athletes are pretty particular about what they put into their bodies, so some of the players might not like this menu.

For those worried that the players aren't getting meals that meet their dietary requirements, The New York Times' Marc Stein has good news:

The Kings will enter the NBA's Orlando bubble on Wednesday and will be quarantined for a few days while they are administered coronavirus tests.

Once the team's quarantine concludes, they will begin group workouts this weekend. Starting Wednesday, the Kings will conduct the first of three scrimmages against other teams in the bubble.

The Kings' first of eight seeding games will take place on Friday, July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs.

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