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A Strong Cuppa Rat Poison

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We didn't expect a win here, so whatever. I'd love to pass on my traditional personal observations, but TiVo decided an I Love Lucy rerun was more important than the game. (TiVo has since been duly punished, in this case by being forced to record the atrocious NFL on FOX pregame show and a Ron Popeil infomercial. That'll teach TiVo to screw with me at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning!)

So instead, I'll walk you through how I read a boxscore. Let's start from the top.

F.Garcia: 40 min, 23 points, 8-10 FG, 2-3 3P, 5-5 FT, 1 reb, 6 ast, 1 TO, 3 stl
K.Martin: 41 min, 28 points, 6-14 FG, 1-2 3P, 15-15 FT, 6 reb, 2 stl, 1 TO

Woohoo! Both Francisco Garcia and Kevin Martin seemed to have played well. Good to see Garcia score efficiently with only a single turnover; for Martin, I look at the free throws (very nice 15-15) and an auxiliary stat (in this case, six rebounds).

Next line:

M.Moore: 28 min, 4 pts, 2-4 FG, 3 reb, 2 ast, 2 TO

Oh.
J.Salmons: 40 min, 27 pts, 10-18 FG, 7-7 FT, 5 reb, 4 ast, 4 TO, 1 stl

Okay, great. The John Salmons hot streak continues! Three offensive rebounds, too.
B.Miller: 28 min, 6 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 1 TO

Oh.

Our shooting guard had almost as many rebounds in 41 minutes as our starting center and starting cower forward (copyright section214) did combined in 56 minutes. One man, 6'7, 205 lbs., 41 minutes... versus two men, 14', 475 lbs., 56 minutes. Something is dearly wrong here.

Rebounding wasn't entirely the team's problem, though. Sacramento's defensive rebounding was still poor (70%), but the offensive rebounding was solid (31%). And the offense, all told, was spectacular (102 points on 88 shots, a 115 offensive rating). That defense, though? 123 points in 88 possessions. A 139 offensive rating for Dallas.  The typical NBA game has about 94 possessions per team. At the rate Dallas was scoring, a typically paced game would have seen the Mavericks score 131. A Phoenix 100-possession game? 139 points. This was beyond Blowout City. We missed the exit and headed straight to Oh Dear God Town.

Like others have already said, no one expected to wake up to victory... and few expected any wins among the first three. But no one could've guessed it'd be this bad.

  • Average margin of loss: 17 points
  • Offensive rating: 98.2
  • Defensive rating: 116.6
This is epic in its terribleness. 0-3 -- whatever. Down 51 points after three games, with a horrid offense in total and a disastrous defense in total? Okay, one more slash with the sword: Brilliant.

(Yes, I know this is overly dramatic -- the Kings have faced two elite teams and one good team. But this franchise has never been in such a dire basketball predicament. It's worth recording the futility in semi-permanent media.)