Sacramento Kings

Kings surge to 22nd in NBA rankings roundup

The Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (15) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson battle for a loose ball during the first half in Cleveland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. The Kings won 116-112.
The Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (15) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson battle for a loose ball during the first half in Cleveland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. The Kings won 116-112. The Associated Press

Three road wins last week had the Kings on the rise in the six power rankings sampled here (The Bee, NBA.com, NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, SI.com).

All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, who was at the heart of Sacramento’s success, was named the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week for the fifth time in his seven seasons as a pro after averaging 27.8 points 14.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.

Just 5-9 this month entering play Monday, the Kings have an average ranking of 22, up from 24.5 a week ago.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 25th, down from 24th last week. The Warriors stayed No. 1, and the Nets were 30th for a sixth week in a row in his rankings.

Toast of the week

CBS on the Heat, who rose from 29th to 16th:

“The hottest team in the NBA, winners of seven straight. Quick reminder that Erik Spoelstra is the Doctor Frankenstein of the NBA.”

Roast of the week

ESPN on the Jazz, who fell from 5th to 8th:

“What did we do to the Utah Jazz? Their immediate response to a bump from us all the way up to the No. 5 spot was to go 1-3 last week, including home losses to the Thunder and Grizzlies by a combined nine points (playing in Denver on the second night of a back-to-back was no treat, either). Throw in a lackluster win over the Lakers and the All-Star snubbing of Rudy Gobert, and you have the makings of a decent claim for a Power Rankings curse.”

And so to the polls:

NBA.com

Ranking: 17th, up from 21st. From the site: “... They're hanging in the playoff race while getting longer looks at Willie Cauley-Stein and rookie Malachi Richardson (who has bumped Ben McLemore out of the rotation).”

Best: Warriors (Last week first)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

NBC Sports

Ranking: 24th, up from 25th. From the site: “They picked up three road wins last week, but with this streaky team it’s difficult to read much into that.”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

ESPN

Ranking: 21st, up from 28th. From the site: “Did the Kings just uncork their best week of the season? Don't see how you can argue against it given their desperation to scratch out some wins after that rough 1-6 homestand to stay alive in the postseason chase.”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

CBS Sports

Ranking: 23rd, up from 24th. From the site: “Their last four games (3-1) have been decided by 16 points. DeMarcus Cousins has been ridiculous in the clutch this past week. This is one of those weeks where you think there might be a good team hidden under all that debris.”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Lakers (LW 30)

SI.com

Ranking: 23rd, up from 25th. From the site: “Ever-streaky, the Kings pulled out three road wins this week and are apparently starting to mesh better. Boogie Cousins is averaging 6.2 assists over his last 15 games, to go with his typical 26 and 10. This type of adjustment can only be a good thing.”

Best: Warriors (LW 1)

Worst: Nets (LW 30)

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