Finally, we can stop talking about the playoffs.
In more than the metaphysical sense is this team eliminated from postseason contention. It would take two miracles and half an angel to get this team past the Hornets (they're bringing Peja back! yep!), the Clip Show (Jason Hart for MIP!), and Golden State. Many months ago, we noted how rough the April schedule looked. A reminder:
04/03: GAME vs DALLAS.
04/04: GAME at DENVER.
04/06: GAME vs UTAH.
04/08: GAME vs HOUSTON.
04/10: GAME at MEMPHIS.
04/11: GAME at SAN ANTONIO.
04/13: GAME vs GOLDEN STATE.
04/15: GAME at LA CLIPPERS.
04/16: GAME vs NO/OKC.
04/18: GAME vs LA LAKERS.
Exactly three of those games come against teams not currently in the playoffs, and two of those have a chance to make it. And this discounts the two games against Phoenix this week, and the two games remaining this month against playoff contenders LAC and MIN.
The Kings would need to be within a game, I think, by Thursday morning to have a realistic shot at the 8th seed.
Obviously, that can't happen.
It's over. The hope is over. I'm not a hopeless romantic who actually believes Musselman will (gasp!) play Justin Williams more than garbage time and foul-Shaq duty. I don't actually think Quincy Douby will get an opportunity to fill the bucket. I don't think Ronnie Price will get his second career start.
But at least I'm absolutely justified for being completely pissed off about it now. Seriously, last night, the Kings had no use for a center with spring in his legs and fouls to give? Really? You're telling me the combination of 30-year-old Shareef and 34-year-old Corliss was a drastically better choice to stay the fricking alley-oop line than a taller, younger, quicker, infinitely more athletic guy languishing on your bench? Seriously?
Any old coach can yell "No lob dunks!" Only this fricking guy can actually think the players he has on the floor can actually make a lick of difference.
Of course, the only "lob dunk" the Hawks didn't complete came before the soon-to-be infamous dictat.
The time to start compiling a coaching list is now. Marc Iavaroni, Mario Elie, and Stan Van Gundy top mine. Yours?