Sacramento Kings Clinch Playoff Spot, End Historic Drought

One of the truly tragic periods of futility in modern-day sports has finally come to an end. With their dominant 120-80 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, the Sacramento Kings have clinched a playoff spot, ending a 16-year-long postseason drought that was the longest active streak in major American sports.

The Kings last made the playoffs following the 2005-06 season under head coach Rick Adelman. It was the last season of an eight-year tenure for Adelman that would include eight straight postseason appearances. It's arguably the most fruitful run in the history of the Kings since moving to Sacramento; their only championship dates way back to the days when they were the Rochester Royals.

The Kings' current record of 46-30 also has them on pace to end with their best winning percentage since 2004-05. They have their historically great offense to thank for it: their 121.0 points per game lead the NBA, and their 119.6 offensive rating is the greatest in NBA history. Given their leading scorers, De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, are only 25 and 26 years old, they'll have a chance to contend for years to come.

Barring a catastrophe, the Kings will finish with a top-three seed in the Western Conference. There's no telling how they'll respond to the bright lights of the playoffs; they're coming off a historic run of ineptitude, and their only consistent starter with championship experience is Harrison Barnes, who a won title with the Golden State Warriors way back in 2015.

For now, it would be a shock to see the Kings make it all the way to the Finals and take home a championship. Until they actually take the court in a seven-game series against the NBA's elite, anything will seem possible. The next best thing to winning a title is believing you can, and Kings fans should enjoy it while they can. 

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