Basketball season is just around the corner. Well, maybe not. We're still nearly five weeks away from the opening of training camp for the 2018-19 season and the regular season doesn't begin until mid-October.
On Friday afternoon, the NBA announced the 82 game schedule for all 30 teams, including the Sacramento Kings, who will open the season at home on October 17 against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.
Here are some of the nuts and bolts from this season's campaign.
• For the second season in a row, the Kings play only one set of five-games in seven-nights and it comes at the tail end of March and into early April. This is part of the NBA's new plan of allowing players more time to rest. The league has eliminated the dreaded four-games in five-nights grouping from the schedule as well.
• Sacramento has 15 sets of back-to-backs, one shy of last season's total of 16 sets. Of those 15 sets, two are home-and-home, seven are away-and-away, two are away-and-home and four are home-and-away.
• After a balanced November and December schedule, the Kings hit the road for their longest trip away from home in mid-January, stopping in Charlotte, Detroit, Brooklyn, Toronto, Memphis and Los Angeles (Clippers) from Jan. 17-27.
• The Kings' longest homestand is six games comes on the heels of their longest road trip. From Jan. 30 thru Feb. 10, Sacramento will host the Hawks, 76ers, Spurs, Rockets, Heat and Suns at Golden 1 Center.
• Sacramento plays seven of its first 10 games away from Golden 1 Center. With plenty of new faces expected to see time in the rotation, the young Kings will have to learn on the fly while traveling around the NBA landscape.
There are plenty of games to look forward to as well, beginning with opening night. There are old faces in new places and plenty of intrigue to look forward to.
• Sacramento matches up with the two-time reigning world champion, Golden State Warriors, four times this season. The initial battle is set for Nov. 24 at Oracle, with a follow up three weeks on Dec. 14 at Golden 1 Center. The two teams will meet again on Jan. 5 at Golden 1 and then finish the series in the first game coming out of the All-Star break on Feb. 21. It likely won't happen early in the season, but at some point, former Kings big man, DeMarcus Cousins, will make his debut as a member of the Warriors, which should be fun to watch.
• The Kings face off with the new-look Los Angeles Lakers four times as well, beginning on Nov. 11 at home. The Lakers have made substantial changes to their roster, including the addition of LeBron James. These two teams play each other again twice in late December before completing the series on March 24 in LA.
• Isaiah Thomas joined forces during the offseason with former Kings head coach Michael Malone in Denver. Sacramento will play the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 23 and then again on Jan. 3 at Golden 1 Center and Feb. 13 back in Denver.
• The Kings will have to wait until Dec. 4 to get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton when they travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena to face the Suns. They'll see No. 3 overall selection, Luka Doncic, on Dec. 16 when they stop over in Dallas for a game against the Mavs.
The full schedule will be posted shortly...