A week that started with a rousing home win over Dallas – with DeMarcus Cousins scoring 16 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter – devolved into a dreary three-game trip that took the Kings into Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. The one thing those three locales share were sites for Kings’ losses.
Consequently, the various power rankings recognized the Kings’ struggles by dropping them one-to-two spots. The team now peaks at No. 25 nationally, and the Kings can thank NBA.com and SI.com for the props.
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NBA.com: 25th, down from 23rd. From the site: “With Willie Cauley-Stein out 4-6 weeks with a dislocated finger, coach George Karl’s latest starting lineup (his 12th of the season) has Rudy Gay at the four (power forward).”
NBC Sports: 26th, down from 25th. From the site: “… (Rudy) Gay isolations to end games — as Sacramento tried and failed against the Thunder – are not a good idea.”
ESPN: 26th, down from 24th. From the site: “… didn’t expect a funk so royal for DeMarcus Cousins that he’d be ripping himself like we heard Sunday night.”
CBS Sports: 27th, down from 25th. From the site: “Last week I told you that the Kings were actually 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins played, and so their problem was Cousins injury. Yeah, they lost three straight this week with Cousins. So that’s out.”
SI.com: 25th down from 24th. From the site: “… the talent isn’t correlating to wins, to the surprise of few.”
Yahoo: unranked for the third week in a row. A reminder: Yahoo calls its list ‘Most Interesting Rankings,’ so apparently a win at home followed by three road losses just didn’t move the needle for Yahoo. From the site: (On the Philadelphia 76ers, who dropped from third to the last of the rankings’ bottom five) “You win a game, you cease to be interesting. Simple as that. Call us back when you’re coming close to breaking another record.”