Ron Artest nearly slid through the glass door of the Kings practice facility on Saturday. So, yes, for those who wondered, the effort level remains.
A scrimmage that included Artest's dive for a loose ball and countless other collisions was spirited in every way, with the rock-em-sock-em highlights including....
* Justin Williams barreling over Brad Miller in the paint and nearly sitting on his head - which drew loud applause from Kings coach Reggie Theus.
* Brad Miller helping Kevin Martin up at least four times after the shooting guard either took charges or hit the deck unintentionally.
* Darryl Watkins swatting Justin Williams on a dunk attempt and generally having a good showing.
All in all, Theus remains pleased with how his players have responded during practice. And after a long film session to break down the many miscues against Phoenix on Thursday, he's glad their minds are engaged too.
"They’re showing me a willingness to learn, and I can’t ask for any more," Theus said. "I’m a little surprised, actually. Guys are really tuned in, and they’re playing hard.
"I think right now, that they’re trusting me, trusting our staff that we’re going to get better and that the stuff we’re doing is going to ultimately work for us."
Also continuing is the praise for Mike Bibby's defense. He showed a bit during the scrimmage, picking up full court pressure and pestering his man early.
"I’m very happy with Mike’s effort defensively," Theus said. "His leadership and everything has been right on the money as far as what I want out of him."
The team put in another offensive set today, probably a good idea considering the way the first half went the other night.
Kings related tidbits...
*Players from Indiana and Houston have weighed in on the Reggie Rules. My favorite part? By the time I'm done writing after a game and make it to the hotel, I will have had a longer night out than any of the players.
* CBSSports.com's Tony Mejia has the Kings winning 26 games this season, while ESPN's John Hollinger sets the mark at 27 (Insider only article). All of which proves Theus has a very real chance to overachieve here.
* It's been confirmed that Brad Miller and Mike Bibby were honoring the recently-retired Corliss Williamson with their recent haircut choices. At least it sure looks that way...
In the interest of full disclosure, this post was partially inspired by Henry Abbott of TrueHoop.