Power Rankings, Week of 12/19

All I want for Christmas is...

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The Sac Bee now does a power ranking? With mean ranking and everything? Same sites? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

#23 (-1)

With the Blazers struggling, there's an opportunity for the Nuggets or Kings to grab a playoff spot. But Sacramento gave DeMarcus Cousins a day off (after a day off) in Houston on Wednesday and came up empty in Dallas on Sunday. They have a top 10 defense over the last three weeks and out-uglied the Grizzlies on Friday, but rank 29th offensively in that same time, with Dave Joerger still looking for the right combinations on the wings (and Rudy Gay's absence making things tougher on him). They've played 12 of their last 14 games on the road, but are traveling again after Tuesday's game against the Blazers, with their first real homestand since Thanksgiving not coming until January.

Sports Illustrated
#22 (-2)

A couple thoughts on the Boogie Cousins v. Sacramento Bee situation: 1) Cousins really makes himself tough to love, but 2) columnists with aggressive vendettas aren’t entitled to our sympathy.

#25 (+1)

On Dec. 7, Sacramento posted a 31-point win in Dallas that it hoped would serve as the springboard for a climb back to respectability. Eleven days later, Dallas just throttled the visiting Kings in the rematch to make it two losses in Texas for Sacramento by a combined 50 points -- when adding in Houston's 132-98 rout -- to sandwich a four-point win Friday night in Memphis that should count for a little extra, given how good the Grizzlies have been in close games all season. This team, mind you, needs a lot more than bonus points at this stage to generate some positivity. Unsavory off-court headlines are frankly stacking up a lot faster than the wins these days.

NBC Sports
#22 (NC)

The new CBA is going to make things interesting for DeMarcus Cousins. If the Kings hold on to him past the trade deadline — as most close to the team expect — they can this summer offer Cousins the Designated Player extension, meaning a five-year, $207 million (give or take) deal beyond his current one. If he leaves as a free agent in 2018, he will make roughly $60 million less guaranteed. Will Cousins turn that kind of money down? He will be the first big test case for that rule.

CBS Sports
#24 (-2)

Had a nice win against the Grizzlies so of course they felt compelled to get crushed by the Mavericks. What the Kings did not need is another local media feud -- no matter whose fault it is -- causing a distraction.

Mean Ranking: 23.2
Love the dig by SI, and, to a lesser extent, CBS Sports.

Beer of the week:
A strawberry witbier by Fiction Beer Company called "Donut Panic", brewed in collaboration with a local donuttery.
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I like that our defense is coming around.

Our offense will probably continue to stink up the joint until we get some decent guard play. Collison needs to get it together.