The Kings have never been this strong on the road, not even in the glory years. Six of seven, with a bunch of those against playoff teams? Insane. Three straight, against San Antonio, the Clippers and Denver? Ridiculous.
This team can compete in any arena precisely because there are so pissed off at the world. We've talked about it before - this team has a major chip on its shoulder, a major anger problem. And because they've learned to keep things under control on offense and just f*cking unleash the wrath on defense, they've gotten further than we could've expected in late January.
We've discussed Ron-Ron's inner turmoil, Kenny's scowl, Shareef's vendetta, Bonzi's bad streak. But who knew Kevin Martin could get nasty? Who knew Mike Bibby would take all the snubbing he's gotten from league observers over the past two years and make himself heard, Gilbert-style? Who knew Rick Adelman would take control of his team in the critical moments (early in the third when Denver got a 10 point lead to six in no time)?
Jason Hart was tenacious, refusing to give up on a play until Vitaly and Ron-Ron Jr. joined him in the lineup. I shouldn't have to mention Kenny Thomas, who was Johnny on the Block, abusing every mental lapse and overplay by the Nuggets. And of course, Mike Bibby was on fire in the first half and worked harder to hit open teammates (especially Ken-Ken).
My favorite sequence from the game: Kevin Martin's alley-oop from Bibby (Sactown's only dunk, by the way) followed by a Kenyon Martin airball. The takeover of the KMart tag, if you will. Though I doubt Speedracer wants it.
(Kenyon Martin: how sad is that guy? Sheesh. What a shadow of his former self. His two dunks were almost parodies of NJ KMart. This guy was never very good, was he? Can we go back and give Jason Kidd an MVP in one of his Finals seasons? Good lord.)
And yes, it's officially over for the Hornets. Good effort from the kids. Let's have a rousing send-off into lotterydom tonight, OK?