Sacramento Kings

Quality losses no help for Kings in NBA power rankings roundup

Dave Joerger happy Kings can experience winning side of late call

Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Kings are finally on the winning side of a late call by officials.
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Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Kings are finally on the winning side of a late call by officials.

The Kings got a highly contentious home victory over the Raptors on Sunday to end a four-game losing streak. DeMarcus Cousins’ fingertips deflection of an inbound pass in the final seconds was the difference in a 102-99 win that looked headed to overtime before an official’s review.

It would be fair to say two of those losing-streak defeats had cachet: A six-point loss to the red-hot Clippers and a five-point loss to yet another formidable foe, the Spurs.

At week’s end, the Kings held an average ranking of 23.3 in the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA.com, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, SI.com), peaking at 19th by NBA.com, and bottoming out at 26th by CBS Sports. Quality losses or not, the Kings still dropped an average of one spot from last week.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 24th, down from 21st. The Cavaliers remained at the top of his rankings for a third week in a row, and the 76ers took over for the Pelicans at the bottom.

Toast of the week

ESPN on the Pelicans, who rose to 21st from 29th:

“The prospect of a three-win week must have felt thoroughly out of reach for the Pelicans during that interminable 0-8 start. Yet it’s already clear, after just one weekend back-to-back with their point guard back, what a difference Jrue Holiday makes as a steadying force alongside Anthony Davis …”

Roast of the week

SI.com on the Mavericks, who dropped from 26th to 29th:

“Speaking of the 100 point mark … Dallas has only surpassed it twice in 12 games. They’re also last in fast break points AND points in the paint per game, which puts the “tank” in ‘Shark Tank’.”

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 19th, up from 21st. From the site: “The Kings hold the secret to slowing down DeMar DeRozan, having held him to 10-for-35 shooting as they swept their season series with the Raptors.”

Best: Clippers (Last week 1st)

Worst: Mavericks (LW23)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 24th, down from 21st. From the site: “When DeMarcus Cousins is on the court the Kings get outscored by 1.7 points per 100 possessions (very close to playing teams even), when he sits they get outscored by 13.7 per 100. Also, when Cousins and Rudy Gay are on the court together the Kings are +3.4 per 100.”

Best: Warriors (LW3)

Worst: Mavericks (LW23)

ESPN

Ranking: 25th, same as last week. From the site: “The Kings clearly need more Sunday night games against Toronto. Twice this month, Sacramento has lugged a four-game skid into the final hours of the weekend against the Raptors and promptly manufactured a win few expected.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW1)

Worst: Mavericks (LW23)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 26th, same as last week. From the site: “The rotation seems disgruntled, the losses have piled up, the plan seems in disarray. So of course they went out and nabbed their best win of the season against the Raptors (on) Sunday.”

Best: Clippers (LW1)

Worst: Mavericks (LW28)

SI.com

Ranking: 22nd, down from 21st. From the site: “Dave Joerger says he wants to play small ball now. That seems like a worthwhile experiment, except that there are still like five centers on this roster … ”

Best: Clippers (LW2)

Worst: 76ers (LW30)

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