Sacramento Kings

Kings slip-slide to 19th in NBA rankings roundup

Kings coach Dave Joerger shares a laugh with Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen before their game Saturday, December 31, 2016 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Joerger had less reason to laugh after the Kings allowed the Grizzlies to shoot nearly 49 percent from 3-point range in a 112-98 loss to Memphis.
Kings coach Dave Joerger shares a laugh with Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen before their game Saturday, December 31, 2016 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Joerger had less reason to laugh after the Kings allowed the Grizzlies to shoot nearly 49 percent from 3-point range in a 112-98 loss to Memphis. hamezcua@sacbee.com

A loss to a Portland team that was without Damian Lillard and a lackluster home loss to Memphis because of a leaky 3-point defense dropped the Kings nearly two places according to the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA.com, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, SI.com).

The Kings, who managed a dizzying 17.3 average ranking thanks to a three-game winning streak (that eventually grew to four) a week ago, slipped to 19th following a week that saw just one win – at home against the 76ers.

On the plus side, DeMarcus Cousins’ playful post-whistle one-on-one duel with the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph garnered nearly 3,000 Twitter retweets.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 17th, the same as last week. The Warriors remained No. 1, and the Nets remained 30th for a second week in a row.

Toast of the week

ESPN on the Hawks, who rose to 11th from 15th:

“It's been a while since we had good cause to uncork a vintage #EvenTheHawks reference, but the opening is there after Atlanta halted a run of 11 successive defeats to the Spurs with a stirring overtime triumph Sunday night over visiting San Antonio.”

Roast of the week

CBS Sports on the Lakers, who dropped from 21st to 30th:

“If something seems too good to be true, like the Lakers’ November performance, it probably is. They were a league-worst 2-14 in the month of December. Back to the drawing board.”

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 18th, down from 17th. From the site: “The Kings were streaking toward taking control of the 8 seed in the West, but allowed the Blazers and Grizzlies to shoot 48 percent from 3-point range in losses that dropped them back to five games under .500.”

Best: Cavaliers (Last week first)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 21st, last week 18th. From the site: “After playing a big game in Denver (on) Tuesday, the Kings have seven games in a row at home and need to rack up wins to solidify a playoff standing.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

ESPN

Ranking: 17th, same as last week. From the site: “The Kings barely squeaked by Philadelphia at home, wasted a fine opportunity to snag a road win in Portland against the Damian Lillard-less Blazers and suffered a 14-point home L to Memphis. ”

Best: Cavaliers (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 19th, down from 14th. From the site: “The schedule gets brutal later this month. They have zero room for error, and this is a team with a lot of error to make room for.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW 3)

Worst: Lakers (LW 21)

SI.com

Ranking: 22nd, down from 18th. From the site: “Boogie taking Zach Randolph one-on-one for a good 10 seconds after the whistle and then missing a fadeaway jumper perfectly captures the Kings’ considerable franchise ennui in one clip.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

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