A win and two losses – including an inexcusably bitter one at home to the Trail Blazers to cap the week – sent the Kings trending downward among the national NBA power rankings.
How inexcusable? The Trail Blazers were without top scorer Damian Lillard, were playing the second game of a back-to-back, and had lost five road games in a row.
The Kings held their position in two of the polls, improved by a spot in one and dropped in two others.
Perhaps a bright spot is no longer being ranked in Yahoo’s Most Interesting Rankings. The Kings were 30th last week, and the ranking wasn’t for a positive reason.
The polls (through results of Sunday, Dec. 27):
NBA.com: 22nd (same as last week). From the site: “Rajon Rondo has 31 assists in the last two games, but also 17 turnovers and the Kings’ offense has been slightly better with him off the floor this season.”
NBC Sports: 20th, up from 21st. From the site: “ … the door has swung open for the Kings to jump into one of the final playoff spots in the West. How did they respond to that challenge(?). With terrible defense, 3-of-22 shooting in the fourth, and a loss to the Trail Blazers.”
ESPN: 24th, down from 23rd. From the site: “Since (Draymond) Green rumbled for his season’s first triple-double in a Nov. 28 win over Sacramento, Green ranks as the only player in the NBA averaging at least 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.”
CBS Sports: 20th, down from 18th. From the site: “George Karl said “I’m done. I’m frustrated” after the Kings’ loss to the Blazers Sunday. Imagine how the fans feel, George.”
SI.com: 20th (same as last week). From the site: “The Kings have recently eked out solid road wins against the Pacers and Raptors, but still can’t quite find stability.”
Yahoo: Unranked, down (or up) from 30th. The site calls its power rankings ‘Most Interesting Power Rankings,’ so none of the rules of the other polls apply. Unless a team is ranked in the top 10, it’s probably best to be under the radar of this poll. From the site: “The only thing worse than a bad team is one that can’t even fall apart with any flair. The (30th-ranked) Suns had a horrible week – the front office is interviewing players to see if it should fire Jeff Hornacek, Markieff Morris was suspended two games for a throwing a towel at him, and Eric Bledsoe is now out for a while with a torn meniscus.”
Compiled by Jeff Caraska