Well, it can't get much worse...and apparently there are other teams out there facing a stronger plummet than we are. On to the rankings!
Dave Joerger is still searching. Ben McLemore went from three straight DNPs to three straight starts (in which he shot 7-for-23) last week, but finishes were more important than starts over the weekend. The Kings fell to 4-11 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes with Friday's loss to the Knicks (in which DeMarcus Cousins missed a layup for the lead with 21 seconds left). Then they shot 3-for-22 in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss in Utah. They've lost five of their last six games, with Cousins shooting less than 40 percent in that stretch.
It was yet another week for the Kings -- despite DeMarcus Cousins' skepticism about a move materializing between now and the Feb. 23 trade deadline -- that presumably pushes them closer to deal mode. Hoping to use a robust road win in Dallas as some sort of springboard, Sacramento instead followed that up with a home loss to the Knicks, then a meek showing in Salt Lake City. Adding to the woes: Sacramento also found out that its recent postponement in Philadelphia has been rescheduled as part of a brutal road trip before the All-Star break that now spans eight games and features three back-to-backs.
The Kings are 4–6 with a net rating just below zero over their last 10 games. It often comes down to execution with this team, and it hasn’t been happening.
The playoff dreams are fading in Sacramento as the team has dropped 5-of-6 games (and the team has played poorly down the stretch in the close games in that group). The worse they do the more the DeMarcus Cousins trade speculation will ramp up, but the Kings still seem to show no interest in making a move before the February trade deadline (well, not for Cousins, Omri Casspi is another story). Ben McLemore is starting again, but he’s just not panned out in Sacramento. Kings spend most of the week on the road in Houston, Memphis, and Dallas.
It kind of slipped past everyone, but not only is this team bad, but it doesn't have any good young talent in the pipeline anymore. Willie Cauley-Stein's almost out of the rotation. Ben McLemore is still starting but it's more perfunctory than anything else. Where is this team going, not just this year, but ever?
Mean Ranking: 22.4
Beer of the week:
Bourbon Barrel Wake-N-Bake by Terrapin Brewing. My travels took me this past week to Atlanta, where I found myself at The Vortex. A must stop, if you're ever in the area. I found this incredibly chocolaty and roasty, and the bourbon barrel, although prominent, rounded out the beer nicely. It was so good, the waitress gave me two.