The Sacramento Kings host the Los Angeles [Redacted] Of Mordor on Wednesday to end the 2010-11 regular season. We're kicking it old school. This is how the previews used to look, before I went mad.
PG: Tyreke "At The Buzzer" Evans
SG: "Sub-Zero" Thornton
SF: El Flaco
PF: DeMarcus muhfuggin Cousins
C: Samuel Dalembert, the Haitian Sensation
The [redacted] come in needing a win to guarantee the No. 2 seed in the West ... unless Dallas loses it 5 PM game against the Hornets. If that happens, L.A. clinches the No. 2 regardless, meaning there will be no reason for Phil Jackson to play Evil Personified or any other stars. If Dallas wins, the [redacted] need a win to ensure home court advantage in the second round. After Andrew Bynum's injury on Tuesday, is that enough reason to let Evil abound? We'll see.
There's also the, uh, matter of this potentially being the final game in Sacramento Kings history. A stirring subplot, no doubt. It remains to be seen what the mood in ARCO will be, and what the mix of [redacted] fans and Kings fans will be. I urge sanity -- no violence whatsoever can be tolerated, focus on cheering the Kings and booing Satan Himself, please. Lakers fans who visit ARCO are largely jackwagons, yes. But they are jackwagons with families, lives outside of heckledom and (possibly) decent souls. Don't resort to what L.A. fans would do. Don't be like them.
So much of our identity as Kings fans comes from how we are different. How Sacramento has responded to the relocation news is a perfect example. We have not resigned or given up. We have not shrinked from the challenge. We are not quitters. Some in this mess showed themselves to be quitters, by prepping the moving vans when things got tough. Some in this mess run away from a challenge. Not us. Not fucking us.
So represent as you have all along: scream, cheer, clap and tell the world that this is some real bullshit, and that we deserve to keep our team. Just don't do it with fists and projectiles. Just don't resort to how they would do it down there.
(And, if you can, join in Carmichael Dave's sit-in protest. After the game, stay in your seats for 30 minutes. #HereWeSit)
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Cousins vs. Odom. L.O. is not entirely dislike DMC, just leaner and more athletic. Like Cousins, Odom was vastly misunderstood early in his career, to the point where he was significantly undervalued for a spell. We know Cousins should not have gone No. 5 in the draft, and we have tremendous faith that over the long haul, he'll prove that. This is a good challenge for DeMarcus, as Odom is active and sinuous ... and prone to mistakes. Cousins has a great eye for the ball and tremendous hands, and I think he'll do well here.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Tyreke Evans, if he plays. It's been a challenging year for Evans, to say the least. But nothing has really changed since a year ago: he's a dynamic scorer who needs the ball in his hands to be most effective, a really good kid with a great attitude, and a well-rounded player with amazing physical gifts. He's not the next anybody. He's the first Tyreke. Bless him.
Good night, not goodbye
is what I will say tonight.
7:30 PM tip. Game threads at 7:30 and 9, post-game thread set for 10:15. I encourage everyone who attends to write up their experiences in the FanPosts ... I'd love to cull those links together for the front page. This is a communal event, for those in the gym and us at home. Let's share it.
Stay Kings. Win Kings. Yeah Kings!