The Sacramento Kings have been strangers for much of the season, playing 20 of their first 34 games away from the newly opened Golden 1 Center. Beginning Tuesday with the Miami Heat, they play a season-high seven straight at home.
Here is a quick look at the teams slated to come through Sacramento over the next 14 days.
1 - Miami Heat (10-26) - The Heat are besieged with injuries and come into Sacramento riding a six-game losing streak. They played in Phoenix on Tuesday night, making this a tough back-to-back start for a group missing at least three starters. If the Kings lose here, there's no telling where this homestand goes.
2 - Los Angeles Clippers (23-14) - Two weeks ago the Clippers were listed amongst the contenders for the Western Conference title. But like Miami, the injuries have begun to pile up and so have the losses. Los Angeles knocked off the Suns last time out to break their six-game losing streak, but without Blake Griffin and potentially Chris Paul, this team isn’t nearly as scary.
3 - Golden State Warriors (30-5) - The Warriors are the best team in basketball and they are rolling. Golden State has won three straight and 10-of-11 and they haven’t even hit their stride. They have no way to stop DeMarcus Cousins, but Sacramento struggles to guard the 3-point line where the Warriors feast. Is this a first round playoff preview?
4 - Detroit Pistons (16-21) - This was supposed to be the year that the Pistons joined the Eastern Conference elite, but Stan Van Gundy and his crew are scuffling. Detroit is 2-8 over its last ten and struggling to integrate leading scorer Reggie Jackson back into the mix after a prolonged layoff. This game looked much tougher on paper when the schedule came out.
5 - Cleveland Cavaliers (26-7) - The Champs roll through Sacramento for game five of their season-long six game road trip. Will they look past the Kings to their game against the Warriors three days later? This is a bruising team, but coach Tyronn Lue has sat his stars in plenty of games this season. It will be interesting to see which Cavs team shows up.
6 - Oklahoma City Thunder (21-14) - Russell Westbrook will likely post a triple-double in this game, but the Kings have played the Thunder tough over the past few seasons. If you want to be a playoff team, you have to go .500 against teams like this. OKC is a tough, but beatable as Sacramento showed earlier in the season when they came away with a 116-101 win at Golden 1 Center.
7 - Indiana Pacers (18-18) - When this team was assembled over the summer, they looked like they might be a team on the rise. The Pacers have a soft schedule leading up to the showdown in Sacramento, so their record will likely look much better than it does today. Again, this is one of those 50/50 games that good teams find a way to win on their home floor.