clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wait, what? The Kings won a close one?

New, comments

That was, by far, the most improbable win of the season.

Kevin Martin had a bad game. So did Mike Bibby. Kenny Thomas started and got the bulk of minutes at power forward. Corliss Williamson couldn't make much inside. No one handled the ball well, the defense was nonexistant for 36 minutes.

So what the f*ck happened?

Brad Miller with two key defensive plays. Mike Bibby with the big shots. Three offensive rebounds in one possession for Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Well-timed timeouts by Eric Musselman.

I hate to crow (no really!), but Francisco Garcia happened. His flying defense certainly altered New Jersey's offense (ask Jason Kidd and Vince Carter). His flying defense and energetic offense also infected the team. In the postgame, Bibby told Grant Napear, "The bench helped a lot." No. The bench did the work. Garcia, paired with Abdur-Rahim and John Salmons, changed the game dramatically when they took over with a quarter to go. Without those three hitting the boards and staying in New Jersey's mug, Bibby has no chance to win it. Miller has no chance to get back in the game. Artest doesn't get a chance to get to the line.

Garcia's defense on the final possession - he picked up Jason Fricking Kidd in the backcourt with 7.6 seconds left, rode his ass all the way down the floor, and either partially blocked or at least altered Kidd's airball runner - just proves what us Cisco fanboys have been crowing since last season - dude can play special defense. His wingspan, foot speed, lateral quickness, arm strength, and quick hands give him the opportunity to play at a Tayshaun Prince level on that side of the ball. Tonight, his offense was under control and his shot fell. This is why Geoff Petrie drafted him. This is why it'd be tough to see him shipped out in a trade.

Incredible win for a not-so-good team. The offense still sucks, and the interior defense is a joke (see: Mikki Moore). But that fourth-quarter defense was magical. Hope it sticks around.