GAME 56 at Miami, Preview & Game Thread

If you would have told me in October the Kings would have 15 more wins than Miami after the All-Star break, I would have kicked your goldfish and sang a song. How bizarre is this world.

SACRAMENTO KINGS (26-29)  107.6 ORtg (#15), 110.4 DRtg (#23), 92.8 Pace (# 8)
MIAMI HEAT        (9-44)  102.6 ORtg (#28), 110.6 DRtg (#25), 90.1 Pace (#14)
BALLHYPE | NBA.com PREVIEW

Actually, I knew Miami wouldn't be as good as they have seemed (well my alter-ego knew, at least). But nine wins and 44 losses is a bit much. One win since Christmas? That's a bit much. This team has DWYANE fricking WADE! It should not be this bad.

Shockingly, the team's been downright terrible in close games. Based on point differential, they should be 13-40 or 14-39. Instead, 9-44. Why? Tons and tons of close losses. Wade (and in different stretches Udonis Haslem and Shawn Marion) have kept them in games, even gotten the team in position to win games. But it hasn't happened.

Wade's not up to his usual standards, though he's (obviously) still very good. Blame injuries, blame the supporting cast. Ricky Davis has been god-awful -- a self-proclaimed scorer should not be relegated to 15 points per 40 minutes; every Kings rotation player but Mikki Moore scores at that level or higher (and everyone but Quincy Douby and Spencer Hawes does it with a higher True Shooting percentage).

But still -- it's Dwyane Wade. It's Shawn Marion. These two are good great players. Games like this worry me more than contests in Orlando or Houston. If you lose to Orlando, who cares? Orlando's good. If you lose to Miami, look forward to at least a day and possibly seven of jokes. A loss to Orlando is disappointing but manageable. A loss to Miami -- for us, the fans, whom have absolutely no role in a victory or loss -- is embarrassing. I don't know why. And I'll still wear my Kings hat Wednesday. But I'll feel 28% worse about life and Earth, which will lead me to being 28% more mean to the barista and the bus driver.

So basically, if Reggie Theus lets Kevin Martin languish on the bench while a game slips away again, I'm not going to say 'thank you' to the barista and I'm not going to tell the bus driver to 'have a nice day.' Do you want that on your conscience, Reggie?

Mark Blount and Brad Miller will jump reach for the ball at approximately 4:30 p.m. Go Kings.

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