Leading Off

Quick start puts Kings in national spotlight

Kings forward Rudy Gay works the ball inside as Denver forward Alonzo Gee covers in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 110-105 victory in Denver on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014.
Kings forward Rudy Gay works the ball inside as Denver forward Alonzo Gee covers in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 110-105 victory in Denver on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. AP

Quick start puts Kings in national spotlight

After the Kings beat the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers over the weekend to open the season 2-1, they became one of the most talked about teams among the national media.

And when most online sites posted their “power rankings” Monday – before that night’s victory over the Nuggets in Denver – the Kings had moved up as many as 17 spots.

That’s a lot of respect for a team that won just 28 games in back-to-back seasons and struggled during the preseason, but those victories over 50-win teams from last season were impressive.

Here’s a sampling from some of the top national sites:

▪ CBSsports.com, Matt Moore – No. 8, from No. 25: “Boy has it been fun to watch this Kings team.”

▪ SI.com, Matt Dollinger – No. 11, from No. 24: “You could make the case that the Kings should be even higher than this, thanks to impressive victories over the Clippers and Trail Blazers.”

▪ NBA.com, John Schuhmann – No. 11, from No. 23: “Hold off on the ‘Boogie 4MVP’ campaign until they get through this stretch of 10 of 14 on the road.”

▪ ESPN.com, Marc Stein – No. 16, from No. 23: “Who had a better weekend than Boogie Cousins, Rudy Gay and the Sacramento Kings?”

▪ Yahoo Sports, Marc J. Spears – No. 17, from No. 23: “It’s early, but keep an eye on the Kings.”

The Bee’s rankings by Jason Jones, which publish online on Saturdays and in print on Sundays, had the Kings at No. 22, but that was before Sunday’s victory over the Clippers.

After the Kings beat the Nuggets again Wednesday, they’re 4-1 as they hit the road for four games before next weekend’s home game against San Antonio.

If they can beat the Suns on Friday and the Thunder on Sunday, it will be interesting to see where they land in Monday’s rankings.

– Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


Today’s poll


Wednesday’s results

Has the Kings’ 3-1 start given you faith?

▪ Yes, this team is better than in past seasons: 48%

▪ It’s too early to tell: 44%

▪ No, it’s still a bad

team: 6%

Total votes: 158

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