Kings Blog and Q&A

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

February 26, 2008
Can't beat the Heat

MIAMI - I don't see this working. I just don't.
The youth movement, combined with the playoff push, combined with the integration of the Atlanta trade pieces, combined with keeping the core happy and the role players from getting restless. Something's got to give. And right now, it's the Kings' record.
From two games under .500 to the current four, they slid when the to-do list just got too long. Ten Kings had played by halftime, and that was before Shelden Williams had even seen the floor to get his work in. That's telling in and of itself, as the new forward is seen as a fairly important project at the moment.
Kings coach Reggie Theus has an unenviable position. And while his moves in the Orlando loss had everything to do with the outcome, this one was on his players. Their lack of energy reeked of the "South Beach effect," with Ole' defense from nearly the entire lot and half-hearted attempts to get back in transition. (Kudos to the reader who corrected me in the comments section - the only wreaking was the havoc wreaked by of the Heat. And by the way, if you haven't noticed, the comments are finally working again).
Kings rookie center Spencer Hawes did a nice job, scoring a career-high 16 mainly by finishing his dunks and burying the jumper no one ever doubted he had. But therein lies the quandary, as anything that takes Brad Miller off the floor like this did (he played 22 minutes) doesn't help the end game. And it's not as if Hawes - even at his best - can offer more defensively than Miller, who struggled to keep pace with the running Heat or elevate alongside so many alley-oops.
Theus said that Hawes was the only one who really showed up, then later went out of his way to add forward Mikki Moore to that list. Otherwise? Not a one. And now, it's not only the tail end of a back-to-back but a revenge game of sorts against an Atlanta team that is 1-4 since the Mike Bibby trade and badly in need of a win to crawl closer to eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The way the Kings are playing, they just might get it. - Sam Amick

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