The Pressure is on to Take Advantage in Orlando
There are just eight guaranteed games left on the Kings schedule. Anything past that is up to them.
The squad is well aware of the opportunity at hand to make a push for the postseason in the final stretch of an anything-but-regular season. Needless to say, there will be plenty of pressure in the Orlando bubble.
While many may be apprehensive of how teams will perform following a hiatus of several months in a setting where there are no crowds, veteran swingman Kent Bazemore is feeling quite the opposite. Following Friday’s practice, he expressed confidence in himself and the Kings as a whole.
“It’s a very fun environment. It’s an environment that I love to thrive in,” said Bazemore. “I think we have a lot of guys on this team that will thrive on that as well.”
No. 26 pointed to the squad’s unselfishness and defensive identity as main reasons for his assurance, adding “our DNA within us is fit for an environment like Orlando.”
Baze has been on several teams in the past that have made deep postseason runs and shared what he will be relaying to his teammates heading into Florida later this month.
“The pressure is there but my advice to [the younger players on the team] is to not be afraid to fail. We’re only going to be great if you’re being aggressive.”
Harrison Barnes shared similar sentiments following practice about Sacramento continuing their momentum that was building before the break.
“I think everyone’s hungry and ready to play. Guys are excited about the opportunity to finish our season, said Barnes. ”We felt like we were hitting our stride [before the hiatus]. We’re ready to go.”
The North Carolina product also touched on why he believes so strongly in his team for the restart.
“I think it will be good for us because that focus element is there. We’re there for one reason: to play basketball,” said the Kings forward. “We’re going to use that time effectively off the court to promote social justice, but I think the biggest thing for us is that we’ll be able to lock in.”
Coming into a brand new format for a race to the postseason will not be easy as the Kings are involved in a multi-team race to the Western Conference’s final spot. But even given the varying circumstances, HB is zeroed in on the upcoming eight contests.
“At the end of the day, we have an opportunity to go out there and play. As a player that’s what you want,” said No. 40. “We have eight games to prove our worth. At that point, we let the chips fall where they may.”