As the team comes back to Earth, Kevin Martin stays in orbit...

After watching parts of the Spurs tilt and deciding whether I'll be able to bear seeing Baron Davis slice and dice up the Kings defense, I've come to a possibly misinformed conclusion: The Kings are above average but far from elite, while Kevin Martin is above average and has done nothing to suggest he isn't on his way to elite.

The Kings defense couldn't stop Nellieball, and the Spurs (by far the best looking team in the league right now) had their way, more or less. The offense is still a work in progress. The shooting has been good for a few games now, and the turnovers receded substantially against San Antonio.

The entire season to date, though, there's only been one constant. Not Kenny Thomas' rebounding, which has been incredible some nights and confusingly poor others. Not Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who has had quite a rollercoaster ride on offense and limited results on the other end. Not Mike Bibby, who has never given the ball away this much in his career. Not Ron Artest's defense, which has suffered as his Mercedes-inflicted injury has restricted his effectiveness.

The constant has been Kevin Martin. He's scored 20+ in seven of the nine games. He's scored 15+ in every game. He's went for 30 twice. He's shot below 50 percent in only three of the nine games, and has a 53 percent clip going overall. He has missed four of 67 free throw attempts. He's shooting 43 percent from three. He's the only King in Kelly Dwyer's latest Top 20.

He's real.

We always talk about dude's ceiling: is it Rip Hamilton? Is it Reggie Miller? Is it Mitch Richmond? Is it Kobe Bryant lite?

No one knows, and no one can reasonably guess. I've stopped being surprised by the kid, because he has exceeded every expectation every reasonable Kings fan has had.

And if we're lucky, he'll continue to do so. Long live the Kevin Martin era.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Sactown Royalty

You must be a member of Sactown Royalty to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Sactown Royalty. You should read them.

Join Sactown Royalty

You must be a member of Sactown Royalty to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Sactown Royalty. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker