BLOG UPDATE: It's not quite the Ron Artest speculation some of you were hoping for, but I can say the Brad Miller rumor out of Orlando has no legs. From what I'm told, he hasn't been shopped at all.
PORTLAND - The All-Star break is often looked at as the halfway point of the season, but that's not the case by a longshot.
So with 31 games out of 82 left, welcome to the 62.2 percent point Kings fans!
The Kings can only hope the home stretch goes a little smoother than its beginning. The team didn't even leave Sacramento for tonight's game in Portland until late this morning because of mechanical problems with their charter plane, making for one long day as they'll fly home after the game as well.
As for the four new Kings and their status, Shelden Williams, Tyronn Lue, Anthony Johnson and Lorenzen Wright will all be available for debut action. I would expect Williams to get some significant time down low, but it sounds like Beno Udrih - rightfully so - will take up most of the minutes at the point guard spot.
On the trade front, I don't see any Ron Artest deal happening today. The deadline, for those who forgot, is Thursday at noon Pacific time. If Kings-Blazers isn't intriguing enough for you, then keep an eye on the Denver-Boston game in the Mile High City (6 p.m. tipoff Pacific time).
It's the Nuggets' final game before the deadline, and the unofficial point at which they can no longer stand still while staring at that fork in the road that is their future. On its own, it's worth watching (for those who have NBA League pass, anyway) because Kevin Garnett may return from injury and the Celtics' 16-0 record against the Western Conference is just incredible.
I continue to hear rumblings about other teams pushing for Artest, but won't share them until I can really confirm. Keep coming here for updates (and speak up, too, people - get those comments going! Geesh). - Sam Amick