It's early in the season no doubt, but the Kings have caught people's attention this weekend thanks to two very impressive victories over the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers. After three games, the Kings are 7th in the league in Defensive Rating and are also near the top in rebounding. The last time the Kings started a season off this well it was in 2010-11 when the Kings started 3-1, but against far inferior competition than the teams Sacramento has faced this year.
Given how early it is in the season, all of this could change in a flash, but for now, the Kings are sitting pretty with a 2-1 record and are garnering praise around the NBA. In various weekly Power Rankings reports, the Kings have seen a big jump after their successful weekend.
19. Sacramento Kings (2-1, Last week: 25)
DeMarcus Cousins just thrashed the Clippers, putting on a show with 34 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in a quality win. Their defensive numbers look pretty good after being one of the worst last season, but their offense has really suffered after watching Isaiah Thomas join the Suns. If Boogie can become a two-way center, he could carry Sacramento a long way this year.
CBSSports has us all the way at 8th!:
Wins over the Blazers and Clippers, with defense and a lot of DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings won't be in this spot by the end of the week (or Monday, considering they have the dreaded Denver back-to-back). But boy has it been fun to watch this Kings team... where are we?
ESPN ranked us 16th:
Who had a better weekend than Boogie Cousins, Rudy Gay and the Sacramento Kings? It's too soon to outright recant some of the pessimism found in this comment cyberspace last week, but the wins and stat lines they uncorked against the Blazers (home) and Clips (road) add up to a loud response.
Yahoo joins the party in putting the Kings at 17th:
It's early, but keep an eye on the Kings, who have wins over Portland and on the road against the Clippers.
NBA.com cautiously put us at 11th
The Kings looked awful in the second half of their opener against Golden State, but they're the only team with two wins over top 10 teams from the preseason rankings, beating both the Blazers and Clippers (in L.A.) over the weekend with big fourth quarters. Hold off on the "Boogie 4 MVP" campaign until they get through this stretch of 10 of 14 on the road.
Sports Illustrated also has us 11th
You could make the case that the Kings should be even higher than this, thanks to impressive victories over the Clippers and the Trail Blazers. Rudy Gayscored 40 against Portland, and DeMarcus Cousins manhandled Los Angeles with 34 points, 17 rebounds and five assists. Maybe Sacramentowon't have to cherry-pick after all.
It's far too early to think that this means the Kings will be a good team this year, but if they keep playing the way they have been, they'll certainly be a better one. They still have a ridiculously tough schedule the rest of November, with just 5 home games left this month and no games against a team that had a worse record than them last year until Orlando and Utah come to town on December 6th and 8th.