Sacramento Kings

Kings’ scrappiness reflected in NBA power rankings roundup

The Kings showed plenty of fight in their overtime loss at Portland last Friday.

That game was the fifth in seven nights for the Kings, and was followed by a rare four-day break. The Kings won’t have another such vacation until the All-Star Game in February.

This week the Kings, who are 2-5 on the road, will play two games and both are at home. That might be better news if the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers weren’t the opponents.

Statistically speaking, the Kings averaged a 22.5 ranking in the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA.com, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, SI.com), peaking at 21st in four of the polls, and bottoming out at 26th in CBS Sports.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 21st, up from 23rd. The Cavaliers and Pelicans remained at the top and bottom of his rankings for a second week in a row.

Toast of the week

NBC Sports on the Clippers, who rose to first from second:

“On a six-game win streak as they continue to be carried by the best defense in the NBA and an offense that has found its groove the past week.”

Roast of the week

CBS Sports on the Pacers, who dropped from 21st to 24th:

“Those of us who chose to believe in the Pacers in preseason are having that Gob Bluth “I’ve made a huge mistake” moment.”

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 21st, up from 22nd. From the site: “Dave Joerger has slowed the Kings down considerably. After leading the league in pace last season, they rank 29th this year. That may be one reason why eight of their 11 games (including each of the last four) have been within five points in the last five minutes.”

Best: Clippers (Last week 2nd)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 21st, up from 22nd. From the site: “(DeMarcus) Cousins trade rumors are swirling around the league, how the players (including Cousins himself) handles that will have a lot to do with if they can start to get wins.”

Best: Clippers (LW2)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

ESPN

Ranking: 25th, down from 23rd. From the site: “Worrisome stat: Sacramento has sunk to 0-4 when DeMarcus Cousins scores at least 30 points. Promising stat: Cousins ranks third in the league in getting to the free throw line, trailing only Anthony Davis (11.3) and Russell Westbrook (10.9) with 10.7 FTs attempted per game.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW1)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 26th, down from 23rd. From the site: “Shaq (O’Neal), a Kings minority owner, said publicly that the Kings might look to go in another direction if the Cousins situation doesn’t turn around. That’s a pretty interesting crack in the Kings’ ‘never trade’ position. ”

Best: Clippers (LW2)

Worst: Pelicans (LW30)

SI.com

Ranking: 21st, up from 24th. From the site: “An apparently motivated Rudy Gay has to be taken seriously, and the Kings are competing. But in the grander scheme, it’s a little distressing that all three of their first-round picks were just dispatched to the D-League.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW1)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

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