Quick trivia: Which teams have the Kings swept this season? (Answer lays within 'Read More'.)
With a win tonight over Philadelphia, the Kings can add another squad to that list. Yes, Philadelphia - bastion of talent and devotion, warriors of a clan 20 games under .500! Nothing says PLAYOFFS!!!11 like sweeping the Philadelphia 76ers.
With that in mind, let us investigate the fare which feeds us this afternoon:
PG - Mike Bibby's 28 pts on 17 shots to go with six assists was without question his best night of the season...
SG - ... just as Kevin Martin's 35-pt performance wasn't the most scintillating explosion. How funny, Martin explodes and we know he can be better; Bibby explodes on a lesser scale yet we are ecstatic.
SF - Meanwhile, the Kings win rather authoritatively while Ron Artest sits. If these guys could just get along and play basketball well together...
PF - ... they just might make up for Kenny Thomas, NBA starter.
C - Brad Miller, previously considered one of the best shooting centers in the league, has not taken as many as 10 shots in a game since January 29.
PG - Andre Miller was the mortal lock to be traded at the deadline, along with P.J. Brown and Jamaal Magloire. (Brown and Magloire didn't get dealt because the Bulls and Blazers thought they'd get more value out of the value of their contracts in free agency/cap space than in returning midseason assets. The Blazers were likely right. Bulls? We'll see.) Philadelphia seems to like what Miller does, though. And it's hard to argue with the results: The Sixers have been loads better with Miller this season. He might even be off the table this summer, which is somewhat shocking when you look back at the Iverson sweepstakes and every Lakers/Kings/Heat/Cavs fan was salivating at the thought of Dre in their backcourt.
SG - In his last 16 games, Andre Iguodala has scored 20+ 12 times. He's not shooting a tremendous clip on the season (.444), but he's showing the potential relatively unseen since his rookie campaign.
SF - Rookie Rodney Carney has beat out Kyle Korver for the starting job in Philly, at least for the time being. The Francisco Garcia fan boy in me says Garcia is a better shooter, ball-handler, defender, and rebounder than Carney already, yet Garcia gets like 8 minutes a game. I'm telling you, it may not happen here... but Garcia is going to have a Christie-esque career.
PF - If Steven Hunter touches the ball around the rim, you foul Steven Hunter.
C - If Samuel Dalembert is near the rim on defense, you pass the ball to someone not near Samuel Dalembert.
The 76ers are 2.5-point favorites. I find this only slightly absurd, and I believe with some confidence that these Sacramento Kings will triumph by more than negative 2.5 points.
The Kings sit 2.5 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff berth. Three teams remain in the Kings way.
The Kings currently have the ninth worst record in the league with 28 games to go.
A QUESTIONABLE PREGAME HAIKU:
A sweep for the Kings?
Quite a grand achievement, no?
Philly sucks? So what?
The game is upon us in just a matter of minutes. The number of minutes in which the game will be upon us depends on the time when which you have read this. In any case, the time when which this game will begin 4pm, should you resides on the West Coast. Should you not, the game starts at some other time.
Boston. The worst team in the league. Yeah. (UPDATE: Also Chicago, thanks to Chris Duhon. Whoops.)
(In fairness, the Kings have the opportunity to also sweep Indiana, Charlotte, Denver, and Philadelphia with their remaining games. Two left with Charlotte and Denver, a home game next Tuesday against Indy, and tonight's Philly tilt.)