Power Rankings, Week of 12/26

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Like other banking institutions, I took a holiday. On to the rankings!
#17 (+6)

Somehow, some way, the Sacramento Kings are in playoff position. They've won three straight games (at the end of a stretch where they played 12 of 15 on the road), scoring 119 points per 100 possessions during the winning streak. DeMarcus Cousins has been huge (with 55 points and an unejection against the Blazers on Tuesday), but the Kings' bench has been the key to the winning streak. In fact, over the three games, no starter other than Cousins has played more minutes or scored more points than any of the top four guys off the bench, with Ty Lawson (16.7 points and assist/turnover ratio of 13/2) providing a particularly big lift. Now, they play nine of their next 11 games at home, with another big game against Portland on Wednesday.

#17 (+8)

Could there be a better holiday gift for the beleaguered Kings than glancing at the standings on Christmas morning and finding themselves in the eighth spot in the West -- right on course for a first-round playoff series with Vivek Ranadive's old friends from Golden State -- after two unexpectedly gritty road wins in Utah and Minnesota? Could those who enjoy following the Kings' many dramas ask for much more than Wednesday's rematch that sends Sacramento to Portland so soon after DeMarcus Cousins rumbled for 55 points against the Trail Blazers? You might want to pay particular attention to the Boogie vs. Meyers Leonard matchup.

Sports Illustrated
#18 (+4)

It’s hard to get too caught up in a three-game win streak, but this is Sacramento’s best stretch of the season. The eighth seed in the West is wide open, and if the playoffs started today, they’d be in. Imagine that.

NBC Sports
#18 (+4)

They are on a three-game winning streak (and have won 4-of-5) and with that, they are the eight seed and in the playoffs if the postseason started today. They are playing their best basketball of the season, but it’s fair to question if they can sustain it and make the postseason. The Kings face the Trail Blazers again on Wednesday, which means another round of the Boogie Cousins vs. Meyers Leonard feud.

CBS Sports
#17 (+7)

Have a week, Kings. Three in a row and five of seven for Sacramento after last week's drama. I feel like I've seen this movie before, where they surge after a Boogie Cousins ruckus, only to then fall apart again when things get quiet. But hey, maybe this one will be different. Finally.

Mean Ranking: 17.4

Apparently Cousins/Leonard is a thing now.