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NBA power rankings roundup: Kings make slow progress

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins coach George Karl during an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The Kings defeated the Detroit Pistons 102-91 to end a six-game losing streak and begin a three-game winning streak. Can Cousins and Karl stay on the same page?
Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins coach George Karl during an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The Kings defeated the Detroit Pistons 102-91 to end a six-game losing streak and begin a three-game winning streak. Can Cousins and Karl stay on the same page? hamezcua@sacbee.com

The Kings’ current three-game winning streak is earning some love from some national NBA rankings.

But you can’t expect too dramatic of a change for a team that won one of its first eight games. Improvements from two to three spots are common among the polls sampled here, from NBA.com to SI.com. A word of warning: The Kings are ranked third by Yahoo Sports, but its ranking is titled ‘Most Interesting Rankings’ and rewards teams more for intrigue (or sideline guests, perhaps) than on-court accomplishments.

For those keeping track, The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 26th.

The polls:

NBA.com: 23rd, up from 26th. From the site: “What a difference five days can make. On Tuesday, the Kings looked like a complete mess … now they’re on a three-game winning streak.”

NBC Sports: 24th, up from 26th. From the site: “They have won three in a row and started to hit their stride, not coincidentally, DeMarcus Cousins came back for those games and is beasting.”

ESPN: 24th, up from 27th. From the site: “You wouldn’t dare suggest that three home wins fixed everything in Sacramento, but there’s no denying DeMarcus Cousins had himself a week … ”

CBS Sports: 24th, even from last week. From the site: “This team is confusing and seems like it’s going to shake apart at any minute … ”

SI.com: 25th, up from 26th. From the site: “It’s anyone’s guess what turned things around in that locker room, but the Kings (and a motivated DeMarcus Cousins) responded to internal discord and a storm of rumors with three huge wins.”

Yahoo: third, up from unranked last week. Remember, Kings fans, Yahoo dubs its list ‘Most Interesting Rankings’ and part of the Kings’ ascension was enhanced by the courtside appearance of former TV psychiatrist Kelsey Grammer. From the site: “The Kings are proving right any pundit who claimed that this batch of well-known players would fit together as well as … um, as well as George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins.”

Compiled by Jeff Caraska

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