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The Hydra Report

Someone suggested we take stock of the Hydra at this point in the season. My Sunday morning was a little too cheerful after watching Meet the Press, so I'll oblige, just to get this head of him back down to Earth.

A quick reminder of what the Hydra entails.

Now then, the Hydra power rankings, with honorary Hydra members Spencer Hawes, Justin Williams, and Darryl Watkins also included for comparison sake. (All stats from Knickerblogger.)

1. Brad Miller

          |------Per 40 min----------|
 G  MPG   Pts  Reb  Ast  Blk  Stl   TO  eFG  TS%  PER
12   34  12.6  8.9  2.8  1.5  0.4  2.5 .420 .497 12.2

Miller has rebounded much better than expected, but everything else -- shooting, passing -- has been lackluster. I've lost count of how many backdoor passes he's missed wildly on. His defense has been OK, even fair considering the ingredients he puts into the soup pot. He's still the best big on the team, and likely will be until he's moved/stuffed like a deer head.

2. Spencer Hawes

         |-------Per 40 min---------|
G  MPG   Pts  Reb  Ast  Blk  Stl   TO  eFG  TS%  PER
8   11  17.1  7.2  0.4  0.9  0.9  3.1 .500 .567  12.8

Hawes gets the #2 spot by virtue of being the only Kings big who can score. So far, he's scored more than three times as frequently as Kenny "Flat-out Scorer" Thomas. As he's handled the ball a bunch, his turnovers are a bit high... but he's shooting tremendously well for a 19-year-old 7-footer who's been spending most of his time away from the rim. And his rebounding hasn't been a disaster, especially when he's on the floor with a small lineup.

3. Justin Williams

         |-------Per 40 min---------|
G  MPG   Pts  Reb  Ast  Blk  Stl   TO  eFG   TS%  PER
3    6  14.1 23.5    0  2.4    0  2.4 .750  .615  24.4

At some point, Reggie Theus is going to have to get Williams into the rotation. When you are this bad of a rebounding team and you have an epic rebounder on your bench? PLAY HIM. My hypotheses think he'd look good next to Hawes -- Spencer doesn't rely on organized offense to get his shot off, and Justin can certainly keep the pressure off Hawes on the offensive glass (which is really where Spencer struggles). If you have those two with at least two scoring guards (pick two from the Martin/Artest/Garcia/Salmons collection), I'm not guessing it'd be worse than having two true Hydra heads out there.

4. Mikki Moore

          |------Per 40 min----------|
 G  MPG   Pts  Reb  Ast  Blk  Stl   TO  eFG   TS%  PER
13   25   8.9  7.3  1.1  0.5  0.6  2.0 .475  .533  7.2

Moore has improved over the past week... and he still stinks. He'd score at a more acceptable rate if he could handle a pass in the paint more than one of every three tries. His jumper has gotten closer to expectations but still misses more than you'd think it would for someone who relies on it so heavily. The best thing Moore brings can't be measured: He's a leader in the huddle and on the floor. He's saved Miller from at least a few techs already by smacking him on the head and cracking a joke. He's the proverbial first to help up his teammates, a wild cheerleader from the bench, a passionate dude whenever he gets an open dunk. I like him. I wish his play he didn't suck commiserate to the level of minutes he's getting every night.

5. Kenny Thomas

         |-------Per 40 min---------|
 G  MPG  Pts  Reb  Ast  Blk  Stl   TO  eFG   TS%  PER
10   16  6.4  9.6  2.7  0.2  0.7  2.5 .464  .443  6.9

For Kenny Thomas to deserve minutes, he needs to rebound like a Reggie Evans or Justin Williams. He has not. He is the best rebounder among players rotation minutes on Sacramento's roster, yes. But his other deficiencies negate the marginal benefit of his small rebounding edge. Honestly, Kenneth Cornelius Thomas is the only thing saving Mikki Moore from sacks of hate mail right now. And K-9 (woof!) has played well the last two games, for him! 4 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast in 32 combined minutes on 40% shooting is considered a good performance for the guy! What a bum.

-- Shareef Abdur-Rahim & Darryl Watkins
Both these fellows get an incomplete. Actually, both have played more than Williams. But Justin verified previous performance with his early minutes this year -- we knew he was a stud rebounder, and he's been a stud rebounder in limited minutes. We have no idea what Watkins is, and Abdur-Rahim hasn't gotten more than four minutes at a time to show us whether he's even a holographic representation of his former self.

We'll check back in on this some time next month.