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Measured Exuberence

It's hard to get all excited by a road win when I wrote yesterday that win or lose, this game wasn't that big.

(Of course, I thought the Kings were going to lose. So, really, I was lowering my own expectations.)

I was actually watching the end of the game, though. Like, fist pump gleeful. Cleveland is solidly the third best team in the Eastern Conference, and they have a serious MVP candidate.

Of course, we have Ron Artest.

The scariest thing for the Lakers, Jazz, Hornets, Grizzlies and Rockets has to be that they know Artest hasn't even meshed with the team offensively yet. The guy's shot is still way off, he's still trying to grasp the system and he's still willing the team to win. I mean, when the Cavs took the lead after Francisco's crazy injury, the Kings had no business winning the game. Ron's never-quit defense (along with grapefruit-shots from B-52 and MB10) let the Kings do it.

How scary good could this team get come April?

Kenny Thomas had a masterful game - I'll take 22 and 10 on half the shots Webber would've taken any day. Add in the key rebounds down the stretch and that uber-alert charge take. Man, nice game KT.

Kevin Martin has joined Brad and Mike in the group of players I want shooting threes in the final moments. And Jerry Reynolds didn't overstate the importance of Artest kicking it out to Martin on the big three - that has to build so much confidence for Speedracer. You've got one of the best players in the league saying, "Hey kid, you've got a better shot than me. Take it." It'd be like if Bill Simmons e-mailed to ask me if I'd guest-write his column for a week. Kind of.

I know I said it wasn't a big deal if the Kings lost last night. But I can't not be thrilled about the victory.

(Also, the Lakers getting smacked by the Blazers is nice. Keep choking on the road, LA. No skin off my teeth.)

(One more thing: Cleveland fans that boo LeBron should be lined up and shot. I'm all for exercising your freedom of speech, and I even once booed my own team - the Raiders in 2003 - in person. But um, do Mark Price and Brad Daughtery ring a bell? Remember, those used to be your best players. I'd enjoy LBJ a little bit more, jackasses.)