3 reasons Kings will shock world and win 2023 NBA Finals

The Sacramento Kings have already shocked the world by (soon) clinching a top-three seed heading into the 2023 NBA playoffs. Now, as the Kings playoffs get underway, the young team will be looking to silence their doubters even more with a Kings NBA Finals run. Is it possible that a franchise that hasn’t made the postseason in 16 years can win the title? Well, here are three reasons Sacramento will shock the world (even more) and win the 2023 NBA Finals.

3. The Western Conference is the weakest it’s been in years

If anything proves that the Western Conference isn’t what it’s been for the past two decades, it’s that the upstart Kings are a top-three seed heading into the 2023 NBA playoffs.

Not to take away from the Kings’ excellent season, but in the past, the top of the West was much stronger than it is finishing in 2023, with young and flawed teams like the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Kings on top.

If the seeds stay as they are, the Kings will get the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Round 1. Sacramento is 1-2 against the champs with both losses coming way back in late October and early November. The Kings are 6.5 games up on the Warriors, though, so that’s a winnable series.

After that, if things go to form, the Kings would play the Grizzlies. The two teams split the season’s series evenly and the Kings are the healthier team heading into the 2023 NBA playoffs.

Finally, the Nuggets have the best chance of making the Western Conference Finals if seeding holds. These two teams split their season series as well, so that series could be a toss-up, too.

At that point, with the Eastern Conference being the war zone this season, whoever the Kings meet in the 2023 NBA Finals will be beaten up and exhausted by that point and, boom, the first-ever Kings NBA Finals appearance — or at least the first since they were the Rochester Royals — ends with the Larry O’Brien trophy.

2. The Kings have youth on their side

If a weak conference and season series splits don’t convince you of the potential for a deep Kings playoffs run, then maybe this will.

The Kings starting five of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray, Kevin Huerter, and Harrison Barnes is among the youngest in the Western Conference. Only Barnes is 30, and the rest are 26 and under. Plus, none of them have many playoff miles on their bodies except for Barnes.

This will help in two ways.

One is that the team has young legs. The NBA playoffs are a grueling few months, and as we’ve seen in the past, some veterans tend to break down in the heat of the path to the NBA Finals. The Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns all have much older rosters with several stars in their mid to late 30s.

And even a team like the Grizzlies, who also have a young roster, are already dealing with a major injury to Steven Adams, who may or may not even play in the postseason.

Sacramento is pretty healthy at this point in the season. De’Aaron Fox is dealing with a bit of a hamstring injury, but other than that, the team should be ready to roll when the Kings playoffs start.

If the Kings can outlast their Western Conference opponents physically, they can go far.

The other benefit of youth is that the Kings don’t know any better. This is the first time most of these players will get significant playoff experience, and without the baggage that comes from trying and failing repeatedly, they may be able to shock the world.

1. Sacramento can outscore everyone

They say defense wins championships, and that’s a problem for the Kings. They give up 118.0 points per game, which is the fifth-worst in the NBA. However, they also score 121.0 points per game, which is the best in the entire league and nearly three points more than the second-place Boston Celtics.

This is a time of parity in the NBA (especially in the West) that we haven’t seen in a long time. That means the 2023 NBA playoffs could look a lot more like March Madness than it does a typical NBA postseason.

If that’s the case, a team that gets (or stays) hot from a scoring perspective could win it all this year.

The Kings’ NBA Finals hopes rest on their 3-point shooting. The team already is second in the league in field goal percentage at 49.6%. If they can up their 37.2% 3-point percentage (T-8), then they could really outscore opponents.

Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter are already shooting over 40% on more than six attempts from deep per game. Sixth-man Malik Monk is only shooting 35.7% from long range on 5.2 attempts per game, which is his lowest rate in the last three seasons.

If Murray and Huerter can tick up slightly and Monk makes a jump to over 40% (where he’s been before), the Kings can make a run all the way to the 2023 NBA Finals, and then who knows after that?

The post 3 reasons Kings will shock world and win 2023 NBA Finals appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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