Sacramento Kings

Kings are consistent; rankings show it’s time for change

A recurring theme for the Sacramento Kings: All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins, center, finishes with stout stat lines, but the team loses the game. That’s what happened Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, at Golden 1 Center. The Kings fell 103-100 to the visiting New York Knicks.
A recurring theme for the Sacramento Kings: All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins, center, finishes with stout stat lines, but the team loses the game. That’s what happened Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, at Golden 1 Center. The Kings fell 103-100 to the visiting New York Knicks. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The Kings are a model of consistency.

All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins puts up eye-popping stats, and the team battles in most games ... oftentimes to come up short when the clock hits zeroes after the fourth quarter.

It’s said that change is good. This team can use a big one unless it’s content to be on pace for an 11th consecutive losing season.

The Kings, who went 1-2 in the last week, had a slight improvement in average rankings, moving from 22.5 to 22.2 in the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports and SI).

Following Monday’s home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers (10-16), the Kings travel to face the Houston Rockets (17-7) and Memphis Grizzlies (17-8).

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 21st, the same as last week. The Golden State Warriors (21-4) remain at the top of his list, while the Dallas Mavericks (5-18) extended their stay at 30th to three weeks.

Toast of the week

CBS Sports on the Grizzlies, who rose to sixth from 15th:

“Are you kidding me? I dropped them preemptively after Mike Conley went down and the Raptors blew them out. Their point differential was bad, even for a winning team. All signs pointed to them being mediocre. They may still be, but we had to correct this week. Six in a row since Toronto, including a walloping of the Warriors at the Grindhouse.”

Roast of the week

CBSSports.com on the Phoenix Suns (7-17), who fell one spot to 29th:

“The Suns lead the league in pace, so at least they’re going nowhere really fast.”

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 22, same as last week. From the site: “ ... The Kings fell to 4-11 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes with Friday’s loss to the Knicks (in which DeMarcus Cousins missed a layup for the lead with 21 seconds left). ... ”

Best: Warriors (Last week 1)

Worst: Mavericks (LW 29)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 22, up from 23rd. From the site: “ ... The worse they do, the more the DeMarcus Cousins trade speculation will ramp up, but the Kings still seem to show no interest in making a move before the February trade deadline (well, not for Cousins – Omri Casspi is another story). ... ”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Brooklyn Nets (LW 29)

ESPN

Ranking: 26, same as last week. From the site: “ ... Hoping to use a robust road win in Dallas as some sort of springboard, Sacramento instead followed that up with a home loss to the Knicks, then a meek showing in Salt Lake City. Adding to the woes: Sacramento also found out that its recent postponement in Philadelphia has been rescheduled as part of a brutal road trip before the All-Star break that now spans eight games and features three back-to-backs.”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Phoenix Suns (LW 27)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 22, same as last week. From the site: “It kind of slipped past everyone, but not only is this team bad, but it doesn’t have any good young talent in the pipeline anymore. Willie Cauley-Stein’s almost out of the rotation. Ben McLemore is still starting but it’s more perfunctory than anything else. Where is this team going, not just this year, but ever?”

Best: Rockets (LW 3)

Worst: 76ers (LW 30)

SI.com

Ranking: 20, up from 23rd. From the site: “The Kings are 4-6 with a net rating just below zero over their last 10 games. It often comes down to execution with this team, and it hasn’t been happening.”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 29)

*All records are through Sunday’s games

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