* I will not talk about Spencer Hawes. I will not talk about Spencer Hawes. It's only preseason. I will not talk about Spencer Hawes. I will not talk about Spencer Hawes.
* Shelden Williams was an active, energetic force, for the most part. His offense might possibly never develop beyond the garbage-type role he has shown Sacramento so far -- I really don't like watching him take 15-footers, this offense should be able to get better looks than that -- but his defense is solid at worst, and he's the best rebounder on the team for now. If that 15-footer improves, and were he a step faster in transition, he could be a poor man's Udonis Haslem. Given the team's other deficiencies, that's not good enough to start. But as a first big off the bench a la Joel Pryzbilla, it could work. Unfortunately, that $4.3 million salary for '09-10 is a little too high for that type of player.
* Through three quarters, Donté Greene had me cautiously optimistic: he did a few neat things, like the early putback and an elbow three and some quick rotations on defense ... but he also spent his time out around the perimeter, despite being possibly the most athletic King, and one who can get higher than anyone else around the rim. Drawing 10 FTAs in the fourth, though ... that will get a thumbs up from me. Greene finished with 18 points on 11 FGAs in 24 minutes. What a freaking firestarter.
* Beno Udrih attacked the rim, as I had hoped he would. In retrospect, Portland is probably one of the two or three teams in the NBA where that's not the best idea.
* Francisco Garcia looked good, ready to start the regular season. John Salmons did not.
* Simply woeful offense once Portland ratcheted up its (frightening) defense. From the late second quarter until well into the fourth, the Kings settled almost every time down. Kevin Martin and Brad Miller, those absences matter a lot. But still: Udrih, Garcia and Salmons should be able to get to comfortable spots and work it out to get some buckets. Pretty discouraging offense stretch there.
* I had completely forgotten that Portland has Ike Diogu and Nicolas Batum on its roster. Completely not fair, guys. Completely not fair.
* Four factors:
That's some baaad shooting for the Kings. Against Portland, you have to create turnovers ... and they'll usually be more than happy to give them up. Only five steals for the Kings, and two of those were from Kenny Thomas.
* We need to see a lot more Jason Thompson and Bobby Brown before making sweeping judgments. However, Thompson's defense and transition speed were encouraging. I look forward to seeing some more of these offensive skills we have heard so much about.