This week, the top three stays the same as various other teams fall off after strong starts to the season.
30. Sacramento Kings
The Kings’ win over the Blazers is easily the highlight of their young season. As challenged as this group is, they at least fight against better teams some of the time. Maintaining that effort for a team that has to know it it’s going nowhere.
“That’s a challenge for us, playing with high energy, winning or losing, still staying on that and still going tough,” Willie Cauley-Stein said after a second game against the Blazers, per the Sacramento Bee. “Because every night we have to play our best to give us a chance to win, and that starts on the defensive end.”
What happens with this team moving forward is going to be really interesting. When this team is fun, it’s not because of their veteran guys like George Hill and Vince Carter. It’s because of guys like Cauley-Stein, who hit his 3-pointer last week, and De’aaron Fox. And even with the veterans who are supposed to offer some level of competency while teaching the young guys who to play, the Kings are last in offense and third to last in defense, per nba.com/stats. Come February, even before then if a situation presents itself, would they be wise to deal the veterans (or least one or two of them) and embrace the tank? It might be get crowded at the bottom, so every loss is going to matter. And as fun as their young guys are, increasing their odds of landing Luka Doncic or Michael Porter or Marvin Bagley can’t be a bad thing.