It's been awhile since the Kings could be called anything other than awful. Over the past three years, it's been hard to ever call the Kings "plucky" or "feisty" or even "mediocre." The team has just been abjectly bad. Bad with vets, bad with kids. Bad, through and through.
Now, for today, this team is average. Average! Perfectly average! Never, I imagine, has a fan base been so perfectly pleased to be average for a day (or three).
This game in particular had loss written all over it, based on recent history. As in a few recent losses, the Kings failed to execute down the stretch, relying on defense (guh) and opportunistic plays to finish it off. And it worked! Other than the fouls, Sacramento played solid defense in the final few minutes (including the potentially game-tying inbounds play). And the opportunistic plays came -- namely, the Omri Casspi transition dunk and a key team offensive rebound late.
Overall, despite big numbers for Jason Thompson (21 and 14) and Tyreke Evans (20-8-8), the Kings won a slopfest, an ugly 48 minutes of miscues and failed execution. The teams combined for 22 steals; maybe five were earned. Most came from messy ballhandling, dumb passes or ridiculous shot attempts. But as a fan -- a Kings fan -- that definitely doesn't do a thing to dampen the excitement.
This may not last, but I plan on enjoying it in the meantime. Let's go Kings.