Sacramento Kings

Kings’ rankings roundup: Treading hazardous waters

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins draws a crowd of San Antonio Spurs defenders during an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2016 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Cousins averages nearly seven more points a game at home than on the road. That isn’t good news considering the Kings have three road games this week.
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins draws a crowd of San Antonio Spurs defenders during an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2016 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Cousins averages nearly seven more points a game at home than on the road. That isn’t good news considering the Kings have three road games this week. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The Kings’ one-win, two-loss week was treated kindly by the national polls sampled here. The Kings held steady in three of those polls, gained five spots according to CBS Sports and moved up one slot in NBC Sports’ rankings. The Kings’ peaked at 20th (CBS Sports) and bottomed out at 24th (SI.com).

If the Kings are treading water, they should look out for predators. Their next four games are against strong playoff hopefuls (five including Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder), and three of the games are on the road. It will be interesting to see how those outcomes, affect next week’s power rankings, for better or worse.

The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 21st, holding steady from last week.

The polls:

NBA.com: 21st, holding steady from last week. From the site: “After losses to the Spurs and Clippers last week, they’re 6-19 against the other 10 teams in the West’s top 11, with their next five games against that group.”

NBC Sports: 23rd, up from 24th. From the site: “It feels like this team is just treading water until the summer, when coaching and roster changes will shake things up. Again.”

ESPN: 23rd, holding steady from last week. From the site: “(DeMarcus) Cousins is … on pace to become just the second player in league history, along with Detroit’s Dave Bing in 1970-71, to average 30-plus points per game at home and less than 25 points per game on the road.”

CBS Sports: 20th, up from 25th. From the site: “The Kings, for all their craziness, are only four games back of a playoff spot, but they could be eight games back in a hurry … .”

SI.com: 24th, holding steady from last week. From the site: “Although he’s visibly slipped (or doesn’t much care) on the defensive end, free-agent-to-be Rajon Rondo is averaging exactly 12 assists per game, which would be a career high.”

Yahoo: Unranked, down (or whatever direction you’d like) from 14th. Yahoo’s rankings are called ‘Most Interesting’ and recognizes teams according to those it believes are the most worthy of your attention. Dropping out of this poll isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Only 20 teams make the cut, so flying under Yahoo’s radar isn’t the worst thing. The Kings could be the Lakers. From the site: “This team is essentially unwatchable right now and only gains our interest when Kobe (Bryant) does something blog-worthy or the front office suggests it isn’t connected to reality.”

Compiled Jeff Caraska

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