You're tired of the excuses, I know. From the team and the beat writer. Last time, I blamed the loss of my voice recorder on not having more material to share after the latest loss, and now I'm claiming operator error as the reason for my miscue.
At the tail end of Kenny Natt's postgame news conference, he made a mention of Spencer Hawes and how he may be better positioned for scoring success if he faces the other teams' second units. That, of course, typically would mean Hawes would have to be part of the Kings' second unit. It was one of the last things Natt said and - truth be told - I was itching to get into the locker room and failed to ask the interim coach to elaborate. Melody Gutierrez is on duty at practice today, and she may have more on the situation in tomorrow's paper.
But Hawes' situation is just one of many that isn't working all that well for the Kings. The other is that of Kevin Martin, the shooting guard who has missed 21 games with his left ankle injury. Natt said before facing Toronto that he doesn't expect to have Martin at least until the New Year, and so the fifth-year player will continue to take unjustified hits in regards to his absence.
The vague way in which the organization has handled his injury has left him looking soft to many fans, but this is clearly something more serious than the original "sprained left ankle" that it originally was called and the "sore left ankle" it was dubbed after his two-game return. I've been told that it is more of a bone bruise, a deeper pain that comes with a much longer recovery time.
It doesn't take a medical degree to see this much: the expected recovery time from the Nov. 10 injury was seven to 10 days, and it's 47 days later. There were two MRIs and the endless distinction of "no timetable for his return." The lack of insight offered has led to the speculation and surely a salt-in-the-wound element for Martin as he attempts to return. Whether it's his eventual addition or a Hawes revival or a trade (nothing there at the moment, from what I'm told) or someone else stepping up, this team needs help of some kind. - Sam Amick