Rudy Gay is out for the season after tearing his Achilles in Wednesday's loss to the Pacers, the Kings have dropped five straight games, and they're 2-10 (with the league's second worst defense) over the last 3 1/2 weeks. They can blame the refs for Saturday's loss in Chicago, but DeMarcus Cousins' phantom foul on Dwyane Wade wasn't the only time they've been beat down the floor over the last couple of weeks. They've allowed 19 or more fast break points in five of their last seven games and, even though they've had the league's biggest decrease in pace from last season, they rank in the bottom five in regard to the percentage of opponent possessions that have been in transition and in points allowed per possession in transition. They're just two games into an eight-game trip.
Losing Rudy Gay (and his trade value for this season) amid a streak of just one win in nine games adds insult to injury here. The Kings are in danger of falling out of the eight-seed race, and it’s not out of the question that the Sixers might actually be utilizing their lottery swap rights.
DeMarcus Cousins is one of just four players in the whole league who currently lead their teams in points, rebounds and assists -- joining Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo -- after zero players held that distinction last season. Yet it's getting harder and harder to imagine a scenario where we have something else to talk about in this cyberspace beyond Cousins' individual milestones. The Kings are off to an 0-2 start on their brutal eight-game road trip and just lost Rudy Gay for the rest of the season (torn Achilles) after declining to trade him when they had the chance. Don't hold your breath waiting for playoff games in April to cap Year 1 of the Golden 1 Center.
Losers of five in a row and it’s hard to see bright playoff prospects for this team after losing Rudy Gay for the season with a torn Achilles. The phantom call on DeMarcus Cousins on Dwyane Wade didn’t help matters. Sacramento has started off 0-2 on an eight-game road trip may for good sink Vivek Ranadive’s playoff dreams for another season.
Yes, the call on Dwyane Wade was terrible in the loss to the Bulls. But focusing on the call ignores that they lost a lead to a team struggling, and that DeMarcus Cousins was outright stripped on that play. The Kings' problems are not the officials. Their problem is that they are too often in a position for a bad call to ruin their chances of a win.
Mean Ranking: 24.6
Nothing a nice win streak can't fix.