Sacramento Kings

Kings 22nd in NBA power rankings roundup

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) battles for a loose ball with Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) and center Jakob Poeltl (42) during an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 in Toronto. The Kings broke a four-game losing streak and salvaged a five-game trip with a 96-91 victory.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) battles for a loose ball with Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) and center Jakob Poeltl (42) during an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 in Toronto. The Kings broke a four-game losing streak and salvaged a five-game trip with a 96-91 victory. The Canadian Press via The Associated Press

The Kings have completed their first trip of the season, and salvaged it with a Game 5 victory in Toronto. Let’s see a show of hands of those who expected a Kings win in the second back-to-back in six days. On the road. Against an Eastern Conference finalist. Right. This was a bit of an odds-defyer.

The Kings averaged a ranking of 22.8 in the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA.com, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, SI.com).

That represented an average drop of 3.4 places across five of the polls (this was The Bee’s first rankings of the season).

The good news is the Kings take on winless New Orleans on Tuesday. The bad news is Anthony Davis is averaging 30 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots a game. He averaged 27.3 points in three games against the Kings last season.

The Kings also meet the improved Lakers and Portland (both 4-3) this week. Unless they can continue their momentum from Toronto, they will continue to trend down in next week’s rankings roundup.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 23rd in his first installment of the season.

Toast of the week

NBC Sports on the Lakers, who climbed 12 spots to 12th:

Luke Walton has them playing at the fastest pace in the NBA so far this season, and the team is loving it – they love basketball.

Roast of the week

NBA.com on the Wizards, who dropped 10 spots to 28th:

The Wizards haven’t been the league’s worst second half team only because the Philadelphia 76ers exist. The Wiz led each of last week’s three games by at least 12 points, but only got one win (after Kyle Korver missed a three to tie).

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 22nd, down from 17th. From the site: They’ve actually trailed by double-digits in seven of their eight games. Their starting lineup has been good, but they’ll welcome the return of Darren Collison (from his eight-game suspension) on Tuesday, with Ty Lawson having missed his last 10 shots.”

Best: Cavaliers (Last week 2nd)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 22nd, down from 15th. From the site: “The Kings played terrible defense and started 0-4 on a tough East Coast road trip (the kind of trip where playoff teams still get some wins). Then they got to Toronto Sunday … .”

Best: Cavaliers (LW1)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

ESPN

Ranking: 23rd, down from 22nd. From the site: “Let’s see if the Kings can generate any momentum from the breakthrough (win in Toronto), which brought some much-needed relief after the six-fouls-in-a-quarter fiasco in Miami endured by DeMarcus Cousins, whose Kings have lost the last nine games in which Boogie has scored 30 or more points.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW1)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 23rd, down from 17th. From the site: “They won’t win a lot, but maybe (coach Dave) Joerger can stabilize the situation (until he randomly gets fired, because it’s the Kings).”

Best: Cavaliers (LW1)

Worst: Pelicans (LW28)

SI.com

Ranking: 24th, up from 26th. From the site: The Kings have faced three back-to-backs already and split all three, and Rudy Gay has been helping his trade value. This could be worse.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW2)

Worst: 76ers (LW29)

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