Sacramento Kings

Home woes drop Kings in NBA rankings roundup

Kings center Kosta Koufos, right, loses this rebound to the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Koufos, however, did have the Kings’ only offensive rebound of the game, a 117-106 Warriors victory.
Kings center Kosta Koufos, right, loses this rebound to the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Koufos, however, did have the Kings’ only offensive rebound of the game, a 117-106 Warriors victory. hamezcua@sacbee.com

How long ago does that road win over Denver seem? It was a week ago, Jan. 3, the Kings’ first game of the new year.

The victory ended a two-game skid that followed a dizzying four-game winning streak. The win over the Nuggets appeared to mark a turn in the right direction.

But the next night, at home, the Kings lost to a Miami team that was so shorthanded, Luke Warm would have been a better nickname than Heat. Two nights later Chris Paul and the Clippers visit and handed the Kings another loss.

The Golden State Warriors visited Golden 1 Center on Sunday, fell behind by 16 points, and then won 117-106, as they bettered the Kings 13-1 on the offensive glass.

Add up that data, and the Kings drop to an average ranking of 20.5 according to the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA.com, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, SI.com). That’s down from 17.3 a week ago.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 20th, down from 17th last week. The Warriors remained No. 1, and the Nets remained 30th for a third week in a row.

Toast of the week

NBA.com on the Spurs, who rose to first from third:

“It was only five weeks ago that the Spurs ranked 13th in defensive efficiency. They've been so good defensively since then, they're even stealing the ball from each other. Having allowed less than a point per possession over their last 17 games (seven against top-10 offenses, only five against bottom-10 offenses), they are back in that No. 1 spot.”

Roast of the week

SI.com on the Heat, which dropped from 26th to 27th:

“When Heat fans thought it couldn’t get worse, they lose Justise Winslow for the season. (Insert statement about Pat Riley’s long-accruing karma here.)”

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 19th, down from 18th. From the site: “The Kings remain the league’s worst team in the first six minutes of games and were down seven after the first six minutes against the Heat.”

Best: Spurs (Last week third)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 20th, last week 21st. From the site: “ … started off 0-3 at home on a seven-game homestand that is key if this team is serious about making the playoffs (when it ends they head out on the road for eight straight).”

Best: Spurs (LW 3)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

ESPN

Ranking: 20th, down from 17th. From the site: “You can’t help but wonder where Sacramento will be in the standings at month’s end with Cleveland and Oklahoma City still to come on this homestand before they even start traveling.”

Best: Cavaliers (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 23rd, down from 19th. From the site: “Two weeks ago: ‘Here come the Kings!’ Two weeks later: ‘And there they go again.’ 

Best: Cavaliers (LW 3)

Worst: Nets (LW 27)

SI.com

Ranking: 21st, down from 22nd. From the site: “… Sacramento is dead in the water by the end of this month if they aren’t careful: they get Detroit, Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Indiana before closing the month on an eight-game road trip …”

Best: Cavaliers (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

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