Three in a row is three in a row because of the four that came before it for the Kings, even if the recovery did come against Memphis, Minnesota and Golden State. But a win on Tuesday over Detroit to break even at 4-4 and the possibility for more as they play at the Clippers on Wednesday should have them hungry because of the history here.
To wit: they haven't been .500 since Dec. 4, 2006, when a 92-89 home loss to Orlando dropped the Eric Musselman-led Kings to 8-8. (Quick sidenote: Musselman's blogging fancy may not have led to another coaching job yet, but it has led to a gig as a columnist for Pro Basketball News) After starting 11-18 last season, the Kings were two games away from breaking even on three separate occasions in Reggie Theus' debut campaign.
Here's why it will happen: According to Theus, he was told that Martin's left ankle injury looked worse than it was. If that's the case (and I'll know more in a few hours), then Martin will be back at it again (he's averaging 26.2 points on 51.7 percent shooting in the last five games) and the newfound collective chemistry should continue. Speaking of history, the Kings have won 10 of their last 11 games against Detroit at home and three of the last four overall.
Here's why it won't happen: After being stifled by Boston on Sunday, the Pistons are 0-2 since trading for Allen Iverson. And considering Detroit's next 10 days are mostly brutal (at Kings, Warriors, Lakers, Phoenix; home vs. Cleveland and at Boston), this is a must-get game for them. It becomes all that much easier if Martin's ankle puts him on the shelf.
Points of perspective...
* The Kings' strength of schedule to this point is 29th in the league (.331).
* In the Kings' first four games, they held the lead for 13 minutes, 36 seconds of a possible 192 minutes. In the last three games, they've led for 137 minutes, 41 seconds of a possible 144 minutes.
* This one is belated (and courtesy of Kings PR wiz Daryl Arata), but the Kings' 24 assist, 10-turnover outing against Minnesota on Friday was a better one-game ratio (2.4) than all but one of their 10-turnover-or-less games last season (five in all). Only their 16 assist, five turnover win on Dec. 1, 2007 win over Houston was better (3.2). After their 19-assist, 17-turnover outing against Golden State, they're ranked 24th in the league in that all-important category (1.17).
* Jason Thompson's parents, Chuck and Sharyn, may have broken the unofficial attendance record for parents whose kid just started in the NBA. I believe they said they're leaving for their New Jersey hometown today, meaning their streak will end at seven games and will have spanned five cities and 12 days.
Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if they were there on Tuesday. They would still have time to get back for the Rider regular season opener of their younger son and NBA hopeful, Ryan Thompson, on Friday - travel fatigue not withstanding. Ironically, the matchup against St. Joseph's will take place at the same Wachovia Center in Philadelphia where the Kings' 0-4 road trip ended. The younger Thompson had 17 points and seven rebounds in an exhibition opening win over East Stroudsburg on Saturday.
I spoke with Ryan at the Kings' Nov. 3 loss at Philly, and the junior said he will wait to see how the season plays out before deciding if he wants to enter the draft next summer. Big brother, for the record, has encouraged him to finish his time at Rider.
* The Kings aren't exactly petitioning for a switch to the Eastern Conference with their recent defensive play, but they have improved. From 111 points per game in the first four to 100.6 per in the last three, they're ranked 29th in points allowed overall (107) and 27th in opponents' field-goal percentage (47.91).
* If you missed it, Melody Gutierrez highlights Spencer Hawes' play last night and has other tidbits in the Kings notes.
NEW FORUM QUESTION (Click link below and discuss there)
What does the three-game winning streak mean? - Sam Amick