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The Cure

Winning fixes everything.

Bad blood? No sign. Trade requests? Can't find them. Calls to detonate and rebuild? Not in this arena.

Winning is the cure, as we all know. The key to winning is playing teams you are better than. And the Kings are certainly better than the Knicks.

Ron Artest's game had me smiling, but one insane performance can only go so far. What has me joyful this morning are the quotes from Sam Amick's recap in The Bee, the ones where other Kings players discuss how hard Ron-Ron has worked the past few days, how he's back to his old Ron-Ron self. That's the plus next to Ron's name - he's the hardest worker on the court. Last night he was. Last season he was. Last month? No, not so much.

What spurred this rebirth? Was it the loud media talk after he sat out against Gilbert? Was it the calls for Maggette from the fanbase? Was it some sort of chat with the Maloofs or Geoff Petrie about his future in Sacramento? We'll probably never know.

But it's welcome. Very welcome. As Mike Bibby's shot starts to come around, and as the bench starts to embody some sort of working part, and as Kevin Martin keeps up his torrid shooting pace, Ron-Ron at full mental health is welcome and necessary. Unlike last season's eight-game hole, this one-game reach for .500 is not a big challenge. Getting to a decent playoff seeding - #5 would be perfection, but #6 is certainly better than #7 or #8 - is actually accomplishable this season. Houston minus Yao is not appreciably better than Orlando 2004. Denver needs some meshing time, which could cost them some Ws in the process. Minnesota will fall off the planet within two months (and hopefully some Eastern conference team will get a whole lot better), and Golden State is iffy without Jason Richardson (not to mention that Baron Davis is about due for an injury). The Clippers seem set to get back in the picture, and Utah could run away with the Northwest.

I don't think the Kings will get higher than 7th this spring. But we can dream for more, even after a win against a really crappy team.