The New Orleans Pelicans were being penciled into the NBA playoffs after acquiring DeMarcus Cousins on the night of the All-Star Game.
The experts figured Cousins was a huge upgrade over Buddy Hield, and the Pelicans could slide into the No. 8 spot with a strong second half to the season.
Fast forward a month and the Pelicans have not made that strong push that was expected, while instead the Sacramento Kings are the ones building some momentum for the future.
While the Pelicans and Kings should both be on the outside looking in this playoff season, at least the Kings fans have reasons to be optimistic after years of Boogie-led turmoil behind the scenes.
Sequences like Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers show why Hield could still be an All-Star and terrific player in this league.
As you can see, Hield knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a six-point deficit, and then made an opportunistic play for a three-point margin with just 2:10 to play.
It was the middle of a monumental collapse for the Clippers, who led by 18 points at 94-76 with 4:59 to play.
Hield finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. The Kings also got solid contributions from Darren Collison, who scored 19 points; Anthony Tolliver, who had 15 points off the bench; and Georgios Papagiannis, who had 12 points off the bench.
Here is a video of the full highlights from the amazing win:
This loss was historically dreadful for the Clippers, who might remember March 26 as the night the 2016-17 season officially died.
Sure, the Clips will sleepwalk into the playoffs, but most likely will be a first-round exit, especially if they get passed for the fifth seed and have to play third-seeded Houston in the opening round.
If something doesn't click with coach Doc Rivers and his bunch of veterans, you can be sure the Utah Jazz or Oklahoma City also would dispatch Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan pretty easily, as well.
As for Sacramento, there might be reason to hope the trade was a win for the Kings, especially when you take into account the 2017 first-round pick the Kings received, which is only protected if it's in the top three.
With New Orleans tanking, that looks like it should be in the top 10, and could net another solid piece to go along with Hield, as Dennis Scott of North Carolina State or Malik Monk of Kentucky.News Now - Sport News