Marty McNeal in today's Sacramento Bee column:
I read this week where people close to Martin indicated they believed his ankle troubles this season were hampering him defensively.Get real! The man is putting up big-time offensive numbers on a nightly basis. What? His ankle only prevents him from playing defense? Now, does anybody, including those spewing that verbal garbage, truly believe that?
Sam Amick, on January 25:
[W]hile he has certainly never been known as a good defender, I remain convinced that his left ankle continues to hinder his ability to keep up on that end.
Watching him tonight was like watching people on those moving walkways in airports. The people in both lanes are moving, obviously, but one is walking and the other isn't and so there's a blow-by effect at play. Already convinced (for a number of credible reasons) that he probably won't be physically right all year long, I watched his movement closesly. Specifically, his lateral movement was awful. And it truly didn't seem to be an effort thing but more of a lack-of-quickness thing. Martin was fighting hard early to fight through screens and keep up with Michael Redd before he went out with a serious left knee injury. And this, of course, is a player who is as quick as they come in the entire league, so you do the math.
Martin refuses to talk about his ankle, and has stuck to his promise that any questions about it will be met with an assurance that he's fine. When I told him his lack of lateral movement was pretty obvious, he gave an evasive grin and said, "I'm all right."
Do you believe the guy who is with the team almost every day, traveling all around the nation to report on the games, practices, post-game routines and injuries? Or the columnist who spends as many words on local girl's high school ball and the Yankees as the Kings?