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GAME 21 - at Utah

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The beginning of the downward spiral, revisited.

The taste from that game November 22 is still too acidic to discuss at length. It wasn't even a historic chokejob; but good lord did it make me cringe and it sure as hell sent this team to the early gallows.

Anyways, on to the next incarnation of the MediocraKings.

STARTERS:

SACRAMENTO
PG - If Mike Bibby is fully healthy, as he claims he is, something is terribly wrong.
SG - Kevin Martin is back up to 21.6 ppg, along with 50/43/89 shooting. Need I remind, Larry Bird is the only player in NBA history to shoot 50/40/90 and average 20+ in a season. He did it twice, averaging 28 and 29.9 ppg in 1987 and 1988. Steve Nash did the shooting bit last season, with 18.8 ppg. And a few assists.
SF - Ron Artest had an incredibly odd boxscore line the other night: 22 points on 14 attempts, while shooting 29 percent. All those free throw add up, huh? Nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals, too.
PF - Kenny Thomas will not go away, no matter how many times I TP his house.
C  - Brad Miller makes me look like a fool. Dog bites man.

UTAH
PG - I don't know how this dual starting PG thing is working out for the Jazz because I don't really follow the Jazz close enough. Derek Fisher, I'd think, would be a bench luxury. But you can't argue with Jerry Sloan's record.
SG - Deron Williams is an easy All-Star pick in the East. Too bad he's in the superstar-heavy West. 17 pts, 9 assists on 36 mpg, and great shooting numbers inside the arc. Please, make him shoot long jumpers instead of layups.
SF - Andrei Kirilenko is the lynchpin of this team's future. He's still behind Trent Hassell, Quinton Ross, and Ron-Ron in the battle for NBA All-D, though.
PF - When does Carlos Boozer's deal with Satan come up for renewal? No one overcomes the wicked voodoo coming your way after you stab a blind man in the back without The Dark Lord's intervention.
C  - Mehmet Okur is shooting better from three than Mike Bibby is shooting in total.


THE LINE:
The Jazz are 7.5-point favorites. Clearly, they are the better team - probably by 10 points. And Utah is a tough place for the Kings to win, for some reason. I choose you, Jazz.

INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT NOTE:
Shareef Abdur-Rahim is getting ignored by most of us. Why? He's had a very blah season. The Memphis and Toronto games are the only ones in which he really stood out. Coincedentally, those were big Sactown wins. So, um, someone get Reef loose, OK?

PREGAME HAIKU:
Utah's good, but I
prefer my Jazz from Wayman -
not Memo, AK...

It's an earlier 6 o'clock start. Which means the game may be essentially over by the time I get home! (Actually, the game may already essentially be over...)

Enjoy!