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GAME 7 at Utah, Preview & Open Game Thread

I am completely not caught up on all things Kings, so this preview is most certainly mal-informed. (Many thanks to 214 for running the show, by the way.)

I guess Beno Udrih played well? Cool, that's good to hear. And supposedly Spencer Hawes got some minutes? Awesome. Shareef Abdur-Rahim is pissed at Reggie Theus? Umm... Kevin Martin is still, like, 25th in the league in usage rate despite being #2 in scoring? Erm. We have one more night without Ron Artest? Uh oh.

Martin absolutely needs the ball more, especially in the second half of games. Few players in the league are so efficient; no players on the Kings are close to as efficient. The star scorers of this league get upwards of 30 shooting possessions per game (FGAs + 0.5*FTAs); Kevin Martin is a star scorer and he gets only about 24 shooting possessions a game. And he doesn't turn it over much compared to the McGradys and Kobes and LeBrons. Even with the best opponent defender on him, Martin is the best offensive option for the Kings. He isn't being used enough.

As for Shareef's situation? I don't understand why he hasn't gotten more minutes; we know Mikki Moore and Kenny Thomas haven't been setting the globe ablaze. I understand if the alternative is going small; Theus has done that a lot. But Moore and K-9 (woof!) still have leashes with give while neither has done anything to deserve the playing time. I'm not quite screaming FREE SHAREEF!, but his agent's right. Shareef deserves a chance.

I don't, however, imagine Theus takes kindly to being scolded in the press so we may never see The Future again. That's problematic, because Reef's post-injury is near nil; only playing time will help. Of course, he would help a lot tonight -- Utah has nice bigs, but those bigs aren't great defenders. Reef is proud enough to man up on Mehmet Okur, Paul Millsap and the main weapon, Carlos Boozer. Can he stop them? Probably not. But it won't be an embarrassment. And on the other end... he can do stuff. You don't forget how to fake fools out their boots.

Alright, 6 p.m. start at the fair Salt Lake. Should be an offensive fire fight, mostly because of the Kings' lack of defensive acumen. Let's go Kings!