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The Incredible Shrinking Kevin Martin

In the month of March, the Kings have fallen from the ranks of potential playoff contenders to fighting for the highest draft pick. Thanks to a difficult schedule, untimely distractions, and the occasional injury, the Kings have seen their record fall to 30-40, ten games under .500, even after a surprise win Sunday against the playoff-bound Phoenix Suns.

But in addition to the above issues, the Kings have seen their leading scorer and would-be team leader, Kevin Martin, fade in the month of March. Previous to his eye injury suffered in the game against the Suns, Martin had already set season lows for Points Per Game, Field Goal Percentage, 3 Point Field Goals and 3 Point Field Goal Percentage.

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After a blistering start that saw his statistics hover around 50% makes from the field and 40% from beyond the arc, Kevin's statistics have dropped, whether due to fatigue, increased attention from the opposition, or greedy ball-handling from teammates (I won't name names). Compared with the first month of the season, in March, Kevin is scoring 5 points fewer a game, his field goal percentage is down a full 12 percentage points, to 40%, and his 3 point field goal percentage has been cut nearly in half, from 47% in November, to 27% in March.

As Sactown Royalty has said time and again, we had hoped Kevin Martin would "Get the Damn Ball", and it looks like he was, at least by February. After averaging just under 13 shots a game in December and January, Martin peaked at more than 14.3 shots a game by February, only to fall back to just over 13 in March. And his lower point totals surely aren't a sign that he's trying less. In March, in just 13 games, he hoisted up 60 3-point attempts, but only made 16. In other 13 game months (November and February), Martin made 25 and 24 treys, respectively.

Don't count this as a bag on Martin at all. He still maintains a 20.5 PPG average on the season, and is the team's most reliable offensive option. But March has not been kind. Martin has been unable to top 20 points in his last six games, and hasn't scored 30 since March 3, 11 games ago. In a time that could have turned the Kings season from one we'd all love to forget into a playoff race, Martin has slipped. And that's a real poke in the eye.