That had no business being a walk-away 10-point win. Yes, it was a tight game and Sacramento played maybe its best 48 minutes of basketball all season (the Cleveland game challenges). If you were an alien who descended to Earth to watch this game, you'd think Beno Udrih is Jesus and Rasheed Wallace is undeniably insane. And you'd be right about one of those things.
I understand the very nature of Sheed -- he's been analyzed as much as any superstar over the past decade. He's a great guy when he's not flipping out on officials/opponents/coaches, I know. And he's smart. ... There's certainly some diagnosable problem, right? How do you flip out like that on such a blatant foul? (Hell, how does Dave Cowens flip out like that?) It's absurd, really -- Sheed almost very literally cost his team the game. The difference between a four-point lead (you were waiting for the Kings to hand it over, right?) and an eight-point lead (we can turn it over three straight possessions and still have a chance!) is MONUMENTAL, especially when dealing with a squad as unsure of itself as Sacramento.
And unlike the 'moral victory' being edged by Cleveland resulted in, there would be no such silver lining if Detroit had come back to win. Circumstances of the story would have resulted in 'EVEN WHEN WE PLAY WELL WE CAN'T WIN!' screeching if, say, Sheed didn't implode and Chauncey Billups didn't bowl over Beno Udrih. This is a game the Kings needed to win -- not for any greater meaning in terms of Ws and Ls, but for the team itself. As we saw last year, Ron Artest needs some tangible success to keep buzzing a runaway tilt; Beno Udrih needs to play well for there to be any chance of Mike Bibby's liberation (and the speeding of Geoff Petrie's rebuild); Kevin Martin needs the team to make some noise for his own explosions to be heard. And I think we'll all agree watching an OK team is much preferable to watching a disaster of a team.
So thanks Sheed, for helping a city see the good in the world. You're a heroic martyr, and we love you.