Question: Why don't the Kings just change to a run and gun team like the Suns, the Mavs and Washington have done so successfully? They are lean bodies and they have young legs on the bench. There would be no problem with minutes for anybody. You must have size for the half-court game. The Kings have no size, but they have shooters. I say run!
-- Eric Napue, Topeka, Kan.
Answer: Eric deserves credit here, since his question came in late January, just as the team seemed to be running more. It's been a recent point of emphasis, and I agree with your take on it. Their scoring numbers have been on a steady rise, and they are now eighth in the league in points per game (100.2). Their defense, on the other hand, is 21st (100.9 points). But the number that truly matters is point differential, and that's where the Kings become a fascinating case study. With a mark of negative-0.7, the Kings are tied for eighth place in the Western Conference. Their close losses, though, have been the killer that's dropped them to 12th in the standings.
-- Sam Amick
Question: Why is Musselman not using Justin Williams? Like in the fourth quarter at Memphis?
-- John Cullen, Rancho Cordova
Answer: His answer has been a standard one, that he can't play everybody. The bigger question is why in the world did this organization go to so much trouble to fill a role they clearly don't value? Between the since-cut Loren Woods, Maurice Taylor and Williams, they paid approximately $2 million for a spot that just doesn't seem to matter to them.
The funny part is that Woods is absolutely dominating in the NBA's developmental league and seems headed for a 10-day contract in the NBA, just like Williams did after the Kings cut him. At this rate, look for Taylor to land and his feet and return to Arco and put up big numbers on his old squad.
-- Sam Amick
Question: I have heard that Eric is calling every single play for the Kings. Watching the games on TV and atArco I have not seen that. The argument goes as he is calling "every play" every mistake made is ultimately his fault.
-- Landy, Elk Grove
Answer: He doesn't call every play, but he calls a lot. It's certainly a lot more than former coach Rick Adelman, whose offense was all about open looks rather than more rigid play calling. As for whether called plays that aren't executed fall on the coach, it's not that simple. Players are paid to execute. But the valid argument would be that - as Musselman has said recently - the team may be better served running with more freedom so the guys can find a flow. Some players feel specific play calls are only necessary during scoring droughts, or coming out of timeouts etc., and don't enjoy what they sometimes perceive as micromanaging.
-- Sam Amick
Question: Are the Kings going to make it to the playoffs this year? It seems like the Kings were on a good role until Brad Miller came back from his injury. Then they went down hill from then on. Shareef and Kenny Thomas are not doing good at all and they should be traded to the Monarachs instead, don't you think? They should be traded for Kara Lawson. Kevin Martin is about the only thing that the Kings have at this point.
-- Jorge Lopez, Five Points
Answer: Tough crowd, Jorge. I can safely say that those are trade rumors my sources have not brought up. The playoffs are still possible, and very possible from a mathematical standpoint. The team is playing better lately, and if they can keep pulling out close games they'll be in the mix. What's more, how they play in the next few weeks may determine if they make a run with the current roster or push even harder than they already are for a deal before the Feb. 22 trade deadline.
-- Sam Amick