Last Years Record: 33-49
Key Losses: Eric Musselman, Corliss Williamson, Vitaly Potapenko
Key Additions: Reggie Theus, Mikki Moore, Spencer Hawes, Angela Tsai
1. What significant moves were made during the offseason? What are these 'significant moves' you speak of? Other than the drawn-out coaching switch, Geoff Petrie's most significant moves were the ones he didn't pull the trigger on -- trading Mike Bibby to Cleveland for Drew Gooden, trading with Charlotte to move up and grab Joakim Noah. In fairness, he did add a 31-year-old 7-footer who can't rebound and prefers the perimeter (we didn't have enough of those before) and a 19-year-old center who has had four knee surgeries already, including a microfracture surgery at age 14. Other than those glaring holes, the team was obviously set for success after a 33-49 season. No need to shake things up here.
2. What are the team's biggest strengths? With Ron Artest and Mikki Moore, this team could put together a killer haunted house. Also, Sacramento kind-of has the market on impossibly skinny guards cornered. In all seriousness, this is a team with lots of ball-handlers, so turnovers should stay low. (Depending on what the rotation looks like in Mike Bibby's injury absence, this could change.) There would be the potential for a good defensive team here... if there was a big man on the team not named Kenny Thomas who could actually defend and there were a big man not under investigation for attempted rape who could block shots.
3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses? Point guard is dangerous while Mike Bibby heals. Small forward is underwhelming with Ron Artest suspended/still insane. Power forward is a melody of shame -- actually, power forward could be great if we could get Zeuxis in town. Kenny Thomas' rebounding, Shareef Abdur-Rahim's post moves, Mikki Moore's tattoos... hell, let's throw in Spencer Hawes' political beliefs and Darryl "Mookie" Watkins' nickname and you've actually got one helluva forward. Sadly, Anthony Michael Hall won't return my calls. Something about being a "serious actor" now. Pssh.
4. What are the goals for this team? This is where things get a little depressing, where all these shivs and shanks add up to a bludgeoned reality. I think the main goal of this team is to win one more game than last year. No one expects Reggie Theus to magically patch all the holes in this shipwrecked clipper and bring the baby back afloat. But improvement is necessary; 33-win seasons won't live to kiss Gavin Maloof's feet for too long. So I honestly think the goal is 34 wins. And it's doable with the collection of maladies described above. This team lost just about every close game last year. 0-6 in overtime. That's not a pattern; that's a lark. These things have a way of evening themselves out, and based on the attention Theus has paid to endgame situation... I think the Kings will win their fair share of close games. If just happens, the Kings will be better than last year. I think 34 wins is completely reasonable -- in fact, I think Sacramento will overachieve with 35 wins. Bold, I know.
5. What would make this blogger happy? I'd be ecstatic if an arena deal got worked out this season, no matter what happens on the court. I'd be thrilled to see Kevin Martin in the All-Star game; before you smirk, know that he scored 20 points on 13.6 FGAs per game last season. In the final preseason game, he took 21 FGAs. If he averages 21 FGAs per game and shoots/draw fouls like he did last year, he'd average 30.1 points per game. Stop laughing. Jerk. I'd also like to see the Fire & Ice/Thunder & Lightning/Octopus & Squid point guard tandem (Orien Greene and Quincy Douby) get better at the things they suck at (being a point guard, in both cases). I would really like Spencer Hawes to accept my Facebook friend request; failing that, I'd like to see him get some solid development time against those he will abuse in years to come, including but not limited to Chris Kaman, Robert Swift, Patrick O'Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Amare Stoudemire, Yao Ming, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Mikan, and Shaquille O'Neal. I am a simple man to please.
Predicted Record: 35-47