GAME 18 - vs Miami

Smile, you're on national television.

It seems like this always happens, right? A national game on TNT is coming up, so it's time for losing streak. Not just any losing streak, though - a real ugly one with a couple blowouts and a couple heartbreakers. Really get demoralized before Charles and Kenny get to comment on you and shape the national media narrative.

It has been beyond ugly for the Kings the past week, even worse than 0-4 looks.

But Miami hasn't looked so pretty, either. Just 7-10 on the year, 4-6 in the last 10. That may even be overstating the Heat's quality - they have the worst point differential in the entire league (scoring 92.1 per game and giving up 98.2). A few bad blowouts are inflating that, but even if you account for that the team still looks awful. By any measure.

Shaq's out, Dwyane Wade's playing two positions full-time, and Jason Williams is just getting back into playing shape. Antoine Walker has been terrible, and Gary Payton is a corpse.

Demoralized Kings. Corpselike Heat. Sounds like fun, huh?

Let's get to the good stuff. And by good stuff, I mean the regurgitated game thread stuff.

STARTERS:

SACRAMENTO
PG - Someday, folks will stop making excuses for Mike Bibby. Stubbornness is not always a good quality.
SG - Earth: "Hello, Kevin Martin. It's been a while. Now please leave again."
SF - Ron Artest? Please. Okay, that's cool.
PF - Is there a market for Kenny Thomas yet? Hello?
C  - I have given up on the return of Brad Miller, which means it will happen tonight.

MIAMI
PG - Jason Williams is strangely undervalued in today's league of mediocre point guards.
SG - Dwyane Wade is the SI's Sportsman of the Year, which is quite strange considering the more-universally loved winners of years past.
SF - Dorell Wright is probably not of starter quality at this time. James Posey is.
PF - I think Udonis Haslem is pretty good friends with Kevin Martin. Also, Haslem is a guy I would love to have on the Kings right now.
C  - I am not sympathetic to Alonzo Mourning. Only Vince Carter can crap on the fine city of Toronto and get away with it.


THE LINE:
The Kings, losers of the last four, are 5-point favorites over the defending champs. And I'm picking them. Kings by 9ish.

INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT NOTE:
If Ron Artest doesn't play (he's questionable), this is obviously a much different game. The difference between Wade scoring 20 and Wade scoring 40 is obviously huge, especially with Walker lurking as a money threat. Ron's absence would hurt more in this game than any of the last three.

PRE-GAME HAIKU:
The champs are in town.
Thankfully, they look like suck,
just like our suck Kings.

It's a TNT backend game, so see you at 8ish! Enjoy!

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