2023 NBA Playoffs First Round Series Preview: Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

2023 NBA Playoffs First Round Series Preview: Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors


2023 NBA Playoffs First Round Series Preview: Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors


The third-seeded Sacramento Kings (48-34) will be hosting the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors (44-38) in the first round of the NBA playoffs, with game one taking place on Saturday at 8:30 PM EST at Golden 1 Center. 

In the entirety of NBA history, we’ve rarely seen a matchup like this. The Sacramento Kings are an organization that have been thirsty for a playoff berth for 17 years, building a good enough core with elite coaching to skyrocket them from a decade plus long laughing stock to a legitimate threat. On the other hand, Golden State comes into this series winning four out of the last eight NBA championships, with the same core remaining constant throughout. 

The Warriors have faced adversity throughout the season due to mass injuries and poor success against teams on the road, along with a worse defense and bench than years past. The Kings have been the better, more consistent team over the span of the entire season. However, the Warriors star-power, experience and championship pedigree make this the most interesting first round match-up to evaluate.

An interesting point to note is Sacramento’s head coach, Mike Brown. The heavy favorite to win coach of the year this season is in his first year as a head coach, but his history across the association as an assistant makes this storyline even more intriguing. Brown was the lead assistant coach for Golden State throughout their dynasty, heading that role for six seasons. Brown has implemented a fast-paced, perimeter centric offense into the playbook during his time as Sacramento’s coach, doing what Golden State has thrived at doing for nearly a decade.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Despite a massive gap in terms of experience in this series, Sacramento’s offense is perfectly suited for playoff basketball. Although they play faster than most teams which isn’t always a recipe for success during playoff basketball when the game slows down, they’ve simultaneously mastered the half-court offense as well, hence why they ran away with the best offense in the association by a mile. The duo of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis has fit in like peanut butter and jelly, with both playing different roles to co-anchor the offense. 

Fox is the primary closer, en route to being the league’s first ever clutch player of the year, while also setting his teammate’s up in both transition and the half-court. Sabonis continues to be one of the league’s premier screen-setters, generating tons of points from the pick-and-roll and off-ball screens. Along with that, he’s played a Nikola Jokic-esque role, initiating offense for backdoor cutters and off-ball movers while drawing attention to himself in the post.

Sacramento has been far more consistent than Golden State this season, but the postseason is a different animal. The core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins all know what it takes to win when it matters most, and with all four going into the series healthy, it becomes a tall task for the Kings. Curry is undoubtedly the best player in this series, with the rest chipping in all in different ways to compliment him and the offensive system. 

The main factors for this team will come down to the rest of the guys. Jordan Poole has to be an efficient and reliable bench scorer to help match Sacramento’s overall firepower, and contributors such as Donte DiVincenzo and Jonathan Kuminga will have to keep up the way they’ve been playing as of late. 

The Warriors are 11-30 on the road this season, good enough for the third worst in the entire conference. With this being the first time Sacramento has seen the playoffs in 17 years, their crowds are bound to be louder than ever. However, Golden State’s ability to get it done in the playoffs will outweigh their road woes, which will lead them to getting at least a game in Sacramento. One win in Sactown could be the determining factor in this series, and due to that, Golden State will prevail.

Prediction- Golden State Warriors over Sacramento Kings 4-2


More The Wright Way Network