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GAME 50/82: at Phoenix, Open Game Thread

You heard it here first.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim will not rest until two things happen:

  1. Revenge is exacted on Zachary Randolph, who is charged with trying to wreck a season.
  2. Playoffs, baby. Playoffs.
Call it The Passion of the Reef. Call it SAR-thello. Call it whatever the heck you want to - it's happening.

Exhibit #1: Mr. Abdur-Rahim's dismantling of Malik Allen, Darius Songaila and Othella Harrington last night. 15 points in 21 minutes, with only one miss from the floor and seven hits from the line. Five rebounds, including three on the offensive end. One nasty dunk.

It may seem small potatoes (those were the Bulls after all). But it's only a taste of what's to come.

Tonight? Those punky Suns. It's on.

To the lineups!

PHOENIX
PG - Steve Nash, dress code violator
SG - Raja Bell, quality off-guard
SF - Boris Diaw, frontrunner for The Kevin Martin Award
PF - Shawn Marion, All-Star
C  - Kurt Thomas, about to be completely forgotten about in March

SACTOWN
PG - Mike Bibby
SG - Kevin Dallas Martin
SF - Ron Artest
PF - Kenny Thomas
C  - Brad Miller

(Sorry, but if it's not broke, I don't want to be the sucker that broke it. Someone will, I'm sure. Not me.)

The line: +9. That's an incredible line. Incredible. Can I get to Tahoe by gametime? I need a charter plane for days like today.

Fun bet o' the night: Bodog has a nice Artest prop. Here's how it looks:

24+ Pts    4/1
21-23 Pts  9/2
18-20 Pts  5/2
14-17 Pts  7/2
11-13 Pts  14/5
8-10 Pts   4/1
7 or Less  5/1

Throwing $50 on 21-23 and 24+ would be a nice bet, wouldn't it? It's bound to be a high-scoring game, and Artest is due for a big game. I'm coming back to this bet tomorrow. Then, I might be getting a booke. Anyone know Rick Tocchet's cell number?

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: Amare Stoudemire. Can't we get Jamal Sampson to bring a crowbar and set the rehab back a couple months? The Cuz has gotta be useful for something.

Best matchup: Steve Nash vs. Mike Bibby. The MVP was substantially mitigated last time. Bibby only put up 19, though I don't think he played more than three or four minutes in the fourth quarter. A shootout between the two is bound to happen.

Goal Tracker update: The Kings are 0.5 games behind the Warriors for fourth place in the Pacific Division. The Kings are five games below .500 with 32 games to go. The Kings are three games behind the LA Lakers, who are in eighth place in the conference and third place in the division.

(I'm not that superstitious, but still. I would love to start cracking choke artist jokes and start whispering about footsteps and the like. But it's just not my style.)

Six p.m. start. Let's go Kings!