Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

November 27, 2006

Question: Why did Ron Artest (back strain and all) take so many shots against Utah in the Fourth quarter when Kevin Martin had shot so well? Is this going to be a pattern?
-- Shawn S., Claremont

Answer: I can't pretend to know why Ron does anything, but he did take an awful lot of shots in that fourth quarter. It's an issue for the Kings right now, especially in light of the fact that Kevin Martin is playing so well and is so much more accurate than anyone else on the roster. Artest definitely has the mentality of a guy who wants the ball in clutch spots, which is not a bad thing. But between him, Mike Bibby and Martin, they sometimes play like they're unsure who should be taking the offensive lead. For the record, though, Martin missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter against Utah. That loss was on all of them.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Am I wrong or do I see a confused coach on the sidelines for the Kings? He is definitely intense but he really looked lost at the end of the game against Utah.
-- Steven Rapaport, Stockton

Answer: Yeah, I'm still getting used to the new demeanor myself. Former coach Rick Adelman was pretty consistent courtside, alternating from stoic to upset and back to stoic again. He complimented players in subtle fashion, with a quiet comment as they came off the floor and pat on the hip. Musselman is an emotional whirlwind during games - up, down, and everything in between. As for the Utah game, I'd look flustered too if a team was as unstoppable as the Jazz were on that night.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Simple question: The Kings held Utah to 37 points in the first half and I thought Taylor did a pretty good job protecting the paint. Where was he in the second half?
-- Don Segur, Orangevale

Answer: Well, there have been two games since and another two "did not play-coach's decision" indicators next to Taylor's name. That's pretty much all there is to it. Musselman clearly doesn't think well enough of the guy to play him, though he hasn't said exactly why. He's played six minutes in the last eight games. Taylor is definitely confused, as he was told when he signed before training camp that he would be Brad Miller's backup. But apparently, the Kings coaching staff has taken the small-ball approach instead, giving heavy minutes to Shareef Abdur-Rahim and using guys like Corliss Williamson and Francisco Garcia off the bench. And now that Miller is back, Taylor should get even more comfortable on the bench.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Upstate New York does not get a lot of coverage on the Kings. What are we in for this year? Seems that the Kings are in need of some change in player personnel to get to the next level. Many teams in the West have improved dramatically and I'm not sure that they can compete with this current roster. Are the playoffs a possibility?
-- Bev, Troy, N.Y.

Answer: Seems like more of an offseason question, but I can do a quick recap, especially since the Kings are a virtual New York West team with so many players hailing from there. Among the key personnel changes, the Kings lost Bonzi Wells and added John Salmons, who comes from Philadelphia and is a three-position guy that brings versatility. They needed to added a quality frontline player, but did not, meaning that your assessment of the West is both true and troublesome for the Kings. The playoffs will be a major challenge - not impossible, but nowhere near as predictable as in years past. But in the here and now, you should be happy - they're the seventh seed in the West if the season ended today!
-- Sam Amick

Question: I love the way the Kings are playing. I haven't been this excited since the year Chris blew out his knee. The problem I have is if you notice the bottom teams in the league the last few years aren't teams that are blown out by 20/30 points every game. They are teams that play well for most of the game but then fall apart at the end of games or can't finish games. Do you think the Kings might be one of these teams, or is it too early too tell?
-- Ben Juarez, West Sacramento

Answer: I think it's too early to tell, but they're clearly very competitive. For Kings fans, the silver lining in the Utah loss is that they showed an ability to dominate such a potent team. It was the same situation with San Antonio. And as the win over Portland may have showed, there may still be teams that can be relied on for 20-plus point beatings. You're right, though, that the West is competitive almost top to bottom.
-- Sam Amick

Question: A thought about Ron Ron's back MRI. Someone please send Ron Artest a copy of Dr. John Sarno's back pain saving book called "Healing Back Pain: the Mind/Body Connection." Sitting in a Benz does not cause lower back pain. Sarno is a genius. Sam - or someone out there with access to Ron Ron - please pass the word. Or set up an appointment for Ron Ron in NYC when the Kings play the Knicks.
-- Peter A., Fair Oaks

Answer: The Kings can pass your info along if they'd like, but they do have their own trained medical staff overseeing his situation. Then again, the back has bothered him before and may be the trickiest type of injury an athlete can face, so maybe your guy could help.
-- Sam Amick

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