The Kings played terrible defense and started 0-4 on a tough East Coast road trip (the kind of trip where playoff teams still get some wins). Then they got to Toronto Sunday, slowed the NBA’s leading scorer in DeRozan, and picked up an unexpected win. Best news for Kings fans is that Darren Collison returns from his suspension this week, which strengthens the starting lineup and pushes Ty Lawson to the bench to lead the second unit.
If you expected Sacramento to wrap up a five-game swing through the Eastern Conference by winning the toughest game of the five after an 0-4 start -- on the second half, no less, of a back-to-back in Toronto -- that makes one of us. Let's see if the Kings can generate any momentum from the breakthrough, which brought some much-needed relief after the six-fouls-in-a-quarter fiasco in Miami endured by DeMarcus Cousins, whose Kings have lost the last nine games in which Boogie has scored 30 or more points.
After allowing 110 points per 100 possessions in the first four games, the Kings salvaged their five-game trip by keeping DeMar DeRozan in check and coming back from a double-digit deficit to beat the Raptors on Sunday. They've actually trailed by double-digits in seven of their eight games. Their starting lineup has been good, but they'll welcome the return of Darren Collison (from his eight-game suspension) on Tuesday, with Ty Lawson having missed his last 10 shots.
Dave Joerger is a great coach, and you can tell because this Kings team is competitive and playing well together. For all his baggage, Matt Barnes has brought a real attitude boost and is helping them. They won't win a lot, but maybe Joerger can stabilize the situation (until he randomly gets fired, because it's the Kings).
The Kings have faced three back-to-backs already and split all three, and Rudy Gay has been helping his trade value. This could be worse.
Mean Ranking: 22.8
Not a good trend. Let's reverse it.
Beer of the week: The Abyss, by Deschutes Brewery
Definitely a full bodied beer, with complementary notes of anise, and roasty overtones. The 2014 version has mellowed noticeably, and is drinking smoothly right now. Yes, that is a LEGO sarlacc pit.