Sacramento Kings

Kings’ rankings roundup: Breaking even despite a 1-3 week

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins may not play in a postseason game this season, but he’s nearing a rare statistical milestone. ... Cousins talks with referee Leroy Richardson during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins may not play in a postseason game this season, but he’s nearing a rare statistical milestone. ... Cousins talks with referee Leroy Richardson during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Despite a week that featured one win and three losses, the Kings dropped in just one national poll among those sampled here and inched up a spot in two others.

Simple math shows the Kings broke even poll-wise. Perhaps it was that road win that ended a streak of 22 consecutive losses in Dallas. Maybe the losses to teams such as San Antonio and Oklahoma City didn’t produce the damage defeats to sub-.500 teams might have.

NBC Sports must not have bought into the quality-loss concept and dropped the Kings two positions. ESPN and SI.com both gave the Kings a one-spot nudge. The Kings held their highest ranking (20th) in CBS Sports’ poll.

Breaking even is better than an overall drop in the polls. Consider that the good news. The bad news is the Kings are no better than 20th in any of the sampled polls.

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: “The Kings were pretty good (plus-6.1 points per 100 possessions) with their two point guards on the floor with DeMarcus Cousins before the All-Star break. George Karl has used that look more since the break (17 minutes per game compared to less than 11), but it hasn’t been nearly as good (minus-6.2).”

NBC Sports: 25th, down from 23rd. From the site: “They are still searching for a day-to-day GM to work with Vlade Divac, and this summer you know a coaching change is coming”

ESPN: 22nd, up from 23rd. From the site: “The Kings unwittingly added a timely layer of discussion to the Golden State vs. San Antonio debate when they brought a halt to their 22-game losing streak in Dallas last week. Thank you, Boogie & Co., for reminding us that the Spurs have amazingly racked up a ridiculous 32 consecutive home wins over the Warriors heading into home dates with G-State on March 19 and April 10.”

CBS Sports: 20th, holding steady from last week. From the site: “You want something maddening? There’s a decent chance that despite all of their drama and dysfunction, this team is going to finish just a handful of games outside of the playoffs. You can actually argue the Kings had a good season.”

SI.com: 23rd, up from 24th. From the site: “The season looks increasingly lost, but DeMarcus Cousins continues to impressively chase history. He can become just the third player in 20 years to average 27 points and 11 rebounds, joining Shaq (who did it five times) and another King, Chris Webber.”

Yahoo: Unranked for a second week in a row. Maybe it’s best, with playoff hopes hanging by a mathematical thread, to be off the rankings called ‘Most Interesting.’ Why? Take a look at the attention received by Houston, ranked 14th, and with a habit of getting behind big and early. From the site: “The Rockets are like that kid you knew in college who was smart but aimless, who partied a bit too much for his own good, and who screwed around so much at the beginning of the semester that he wound up needing to ace, like, every final to wind up with a GPA that wouldn’t get him killed when he went home for vacation.”

Compiled Jeff Caraska

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