The Kings remain the league's worst team in the first six minutes of games and were down seven after the first six minutes against the Heat on Wednesday. But they've generally been better in the first quarter recently. Still they're looking good for an 11th straight season in the bottom 10 in defensive efficiency, having allowed 115 points per 100 possessions as they've lost five of their last six games. They're still in a virtual tie for eighth in the West, but might regret getting swept in their season series to Miami, especially with the stretch they have coming up. After Tuesday's game against Detroit, they play 13 of their next 16 games against teams currently over .500.
Not to over-harp on scheduling, but it’s totally possible Sacramento is dead in the water by the end of this month if they aren’t careful: they get Detroit, Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Indiana before closing the month on an eight-game road trip out east. They’ve just lost three straight. This is going to pose a huge challenge.
The Kings' hold on the eighth seed in the West didn't last long at all. An indefensible home loss to the injury-ravaged Heat, followed by two more home L's -- to the Clippers in Paul's return and one of the fall-from-ahead variety to the Warriors in Golden State's first game following its Memphis debacle -- puts them at a worrisome 0-3 in the midst of a crucial seven-game run at the new Golden 1 Center that, remember, will be followed by a merciless eight-game road trip from Jan. 20-31. You can't help but wonder where Sacramento will be in the standings at month's end with Cleveland and Oklahoma City still to come on this homestand before they even start traveling.
They have started off 0-3 at home on a seven-game homestead that is key if this team is serious about making the playoffs (when it ends they head out on the road for eight straight). As an aside, the Kings interest in a Paul Milsap trade has one major flaw — he’s a free agent this summer? Do the Kings really think they can re-sign him?
Two weeks ago: "Here come the Kings!" Two weeks later: "And there they go again."
Mean Ranking: 20.6