Why Perk predicts Kings will make Western Conference finals


The Kings have reached the 40-win mark for the first time since the 2005-06 NBA season after their 128-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday at Footprint Center. 

However, NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins doesn’t see Sacramento’s magical 2022-23 season stopping there. Instead, the 2008 NBA champion believes the Kings will make their first Western Conference finals since 2002. 

“No matter how [inexperienced] they may have for us when it comes down to the postseason, they have old souls,” Perkins told Stephen A. Smith Monday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “And Mike Brown is doing a hell of a job right now. And when I watch this team, they play agenda-free basketball. Keegan Murray is one of the rookies, one of the I haven’t seen a rookie like him in the last ten years. I haven’t seen a rookie like him in the last ten years. 

“And then they have a leader that we don’t talk about enough. And I’m not talking about De’Aaron Fox and [Domantas] Sabonis. I’m talking about Harrison Barnes. You know what I’m saying? I’m watching [the Denver Nuggets] go down the slope right now. They lost three in a row. [Nikola] Jokić can’t guard a chair. And I’m looking at the Sacramento Kings standing, rising, and rising and rising, and I’m looking [at] how inconsistent the Western Conference is. One, the Sacramento Kings going to the Western Conference finals. But two the Golden State Warriors, their championship days are over.”

The Kings have slowly made their way to the top and are now fighting with the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 seed. While some might be surprised at how good Sacramento is, the team has shown they can beat the top teams in the Western Conference this season. 

Additionally, Perkins isn't the only one who believes the Kings can reach the conference finals. ESPN’s Zach Lowe can see Sacramento being one of the last four teams when the NBA playoffs tip off in April. 

“There is a semi-reasonable world where we wake up and the Kings are in the conference finals,” Lowe said on “The Lowe Post” podcast last week. “I wouldn’t pick it. It’s going to depend a lot about who their first-round opponent is out of these teams.”

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Lowe also believes that the Kings will be a tough out for any opponent, regardless of who they face in the playoffs. 

“Everyone is just penning them in as the loser of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 series,” Lowe added. “I think they’re going to be a tough out.”

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