Seriously: Has any other guy in the NBA who played 50 games for a team get talked about by that team's fanbase more than Bonzi? I'm certainly guilty of overblowing the Bonzi Era, though I usually fall on the side of "Oh well, he's gone."
Just like we were all in seizures the last time the Rockets were on the schedule (I went out of my way to make sure I got tickets to that game over the summer), I feel we're having a collective conniption over this gala of memories upon us. Nevermind the noise that Bonzi might again miss the party, having sat with some back spasms virus he caught off McGrady.
Anyways, yeah. Ron v. Bonzi. Maybe. Woohoo!
PG - Mike Bibby is terrorizing the rims in every gym he steps into. At least he could mix in a damn airball or two every once in a while.
SG - With the All-Star injury bug going around like mono at Sadie Hawkins, Kevin Martin has gotten a smidgeon of pub. I hope by some stroke of Stern he doesn't get the nod, as judicial and righteous as it would be for us steadfast of Kings fans and scrawny kids with modernized hi-top fades. The unfair public rebuke would be disastrous for our hero.
SF - As mentioned in the comments thread below by DaveL - Sactown minus Artest equals Holy Jesus That's Bad. But I'm alright with getting worse now to get better later. Ron-Ron ain't the future, terms near or long.
PF - If Kenny Thomas will not grace us the pleasure of his presence, Shareef Abdur-Rahim will step in and be efficient. It's who he is.
C - The surprise start for Justin Williams the other night was incredible in that I've never been so genuinely surprised in a good way during the starting lineups. I had a legitimate smile on my face from the time his name was called until tip-off. (I TiVo'ed straight to the start of the game, glimpsed Justin Williams walking out with the starters, backtracked, yelped in glee.) Too bad the kid got only 8 minutes. Hope he gets another chance.
PG - Rafer Alston murderlized the Kings in ARCO. I wonder why?
SG - Tracy McGrady is a legitimate MVP candidate, I don't care what you say...
SF - ...and Shane Battier for DPOY? Best defense in the league, even with Yao out. Battier demands respect, dammit.
PF - If the Rockets make the run I suspect they will when Yao returns... Juwan Howard v. Chris Webber, starters in the NBA Finals.
C - Dikembe Mutombo doesn't care about short people.
The Rockets are 8-point favorites. I think Sactown has little chance of winning: Artest can only hold down McGrady so long, and Houston's defense is incredible. But 8 points is a lot of points. I don't know. With a gun to my head, take the Rockets. (NBA betting sucks.)
INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT NOTE:
I think Houston is a legimate contender, and I'd place them right alongside Phoenix/Dallas/San Antonio. I'm not exaggerating. There's no way the Kings pull this out...
Now the streak is done -
Five is all the team mustered.
Enough to catch up?
(I'm going to string myself.)
Early start: 5:30p. Hope no blood is spilled, though four quarters on one-on-one between Arthur Bonzarelli and Ron-Ron Cunningham will not be discouraged. Ey.