NBA Power Rankings: Kings drop seven spots in week three after two losses without De’Aaron Fox

Domantas Sabonis, De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Domantas Sabonis, De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Every week, the NBA updates its power rankings so fans can see how their favorite teams are doing or how injuries are affecting the standings. Last week, the Kings were ranked number seven in the entire league, mostly due to De’Aaron Fox’s elite play.

Before he went down with an ankle injury, he averaged 31.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, elevating the Kings’ offense whenever he was on the court. At number seven, the Kings were ahead of other Western Conference playoff hopefuls like the Lakers, the Clippers, and the Mavericks.

Since Fox’s injury, however, the Kings have lost both games they had to play without their All-Star point guard. The first one was a heartbreaking loss to the Warriors and a Klay Thompson game-winner. After that, the Kings fell apart completely and lost to the Rockets.

Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter still can’t hit any shots from behind the arc, and the Kings’ starting five only scored an average of 93.5 points per 100 possessions without Fox. With him on the court, that number is at 120.4–a gigantic difference.

Hence, the Kings dropped in the power rankings. For week three, they are slotted in at number 14, which is two spots below their initial power ranking before the start of the season, and not unjustly so. Their loss to the Rockets was ugly and a reminder of how important Fox is to the Kings’ success.

Either they will have to learn how to survive without him or hope he will come back soon and miss little to no time after that.

Western Conference teams dominate the power rankings

Out of the thirteen teams ranked ahead of the Kings, eight are Western Conference teams eying a playoff spot. The Nuggets, the Warriors, the Mavericks, the Timberwolves, the Pelicans, the Lakers, the Clippers, and the Suns are all legitimate contenders to finish at the top of the conference.

Only six teams in the West found themselves in the bottom half of the list, and the Thunder are right on the Kings’ heels at number 15. This illustrates something we all knew well before the start of the season: the West is tough. It’s a battleground for playoff contenders, and someone is going to lose out on a postseason appearance, even if they deserve to be there.

If they can get Fox back soon, finally find their groove, and get back to the way they played last season, the Kings should still be very much in the mix, though. Tonight’s rematch with the Rockers, which De’Aaron Fox will be watching from the sidelines again, is a crucial one.

It will test the Kings’ ability to bounce back after a disappointing performance and pick up the intensity. Following that, the Kings will face the Trail Blazers and the Thunder and hopefully rise in the NBA power rankings as well as in the Western Conference standings.

Next. 3 Trades that would make the Kings true contenders. dark