There aren’t a lot of positive things that happen to and around the Sacramento Kings, as they have been one of the most unfortunate franchises in the NBA and in all of North American sports for nearly two decades. But thanks to the right combination of players and new head coach Mike Brown, the Kings find themselves in third place in the highly-contested Western Conference as we enter the month of March.
The Kings have the longest playoff drought in any of the four major sports. It has been 16 years since Sacramento hosted a post-season game, but they currently have an 88 percent chance of snapping that streak. There are 22 games left, and if their recent play is any indication, they should be able to hold on to their playoff hopes, and maybe even to the three-seed.
2023 NBA Coach of the Year Odds
If that does happen, and the Kings not only avoid the play-in tournament but hold home-court advantage in their first playoff series since the iPhone was invented, then Brown deserves very serious consideration for the NBA Coach of the Year award. And it seems as though he is already getting some recognition.
According to the sportsbooks, the race for the award has been a two-man one for the last month, between Brown and rookie head coach Joe Mazzulla, who has the Celtics tied for the best record in the league. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone is the only other real possibility for the award, though he is somewhat of a long shot at this point, coming in at +400.
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Mazzulla had been ahead of Brown and the favorite for most of January and February as the Celtics were soaring. But the sustained success of the Kings has boosted Brown into the top spot as the favorite to win COY, with a +125 designation. The gap between him and Mazzulla (+185) isn’t exactly sizable, but it is large enough that Brown could secure the award with a handful of more impressive wins from Sacramento.
The Kings will be on the road to take on the Thunder tonight, but they’ll play five of their next six at home in Golden 1 Center. They’ll play against tough teams, but if they are able to come out of that stretch with a 4-2 record, they’ll be sitting pretty going into the final month of the season.
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