As Mike Bibby continues his tear and Brad Miller gets back on track, this season's rebound begins.
I'm excited to see how the players react to the addition of Artest on-the-court. How often and how early will they defer to him? Is he going to be the new stopgap - when you absolutely need a bucket, do you give it to Ron-Ron now? How many shots a game will he get? Is Brad going to be his primary source of passes early on, or will Bibby make a concerted effort to get him into the offense? Is Kevin Martin's field goal attempts figure going to drop off the face of the earth? What about KT/Reef?
Truth be told, MB10 and B-52 could win the next two games for the Kings like they did tonight. Or, one of them could have a horrible game like in Philly and it'd be hard for the team to win.
Adding Artest to the mix immediately improves those winning chances, if even he's rusty and he's never played with any of these guys but Brad and he doesn't know the system.
No knock on Francisco, but he's a bench player right now, not a guy who should have 15ish shot attempts.
Artest is guy I'd give 15 shots to if he'd just waken up from a three-day coke binge and had a patch over one eye - with his braun, with his skills, with his sheer will, he's going to get at least five of those to drop.
Of course, we haven't seen one minute of Mr. Beast in a Sacramento jersey, so what the hell do I know. But you can't help but feel excited, not only for the balance of the season, but for Boston and Toronto.
It's one new player, but it's a whole new team.