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So Much For Pride

Friday night's painful loss to Golden State showed the season as it is: frustrating.

Actually, one play in particular seemed to sum up the Kings season as a whole. Francisco Garcia's missed dunk.

No fault to Cisco, surely. I'm almost positive that's his first NBA missed dunk. It came after a forced steal by Garcia which Quincy Douby picked up and took the length. With a 2-on-1 advantage, Douby whipped the behind-the-back pass to Garcia in perfect position for the high-flying flush. Garcia was a bit off, and the ball went out to the corner. The dunk would've put the Kings down by 5 late in the third after being down by as much as 21. After the miss, the Warriors took control for good.

All that effort, all that energy, all that excitement... no result.

Just like the five overtime losses in five overtime games. Just like the full month of close defeats. Just like the rallies that came up just short all year.

As Kusian notes in the game thread, Douby wasn't particularly hope-inspiring. His defense was OK - he gambled plenty, which got him some nice steals but also let his man get some easy looks. His offense was atrocious. He tried to go to the rim in three different half-court sets. His shot was blocked or he was stripped all three times. His jumper wasn't close. Kid needs A LOT of work before he's an NBA player.

Kevin Martin's ballhandling was the sloppiest its been all season, which no doubt shrunk his offensive role. (11 FGAs, 4 FTAs.) Shareef Abdur-Rahim was as good as he's been all year, muscling Andris Biedrins and Al Harrington for 23 and 14. Justin Williams was good in limited minutes, but didn't help on the defensive glass much and reverted back to his scary-bad free-throw shooting (1 for 5).

The game was Garcia's, which makes the missed dunk even more painful. 31 minutes, 16 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk, 0 turnovers. If THE FUTURE OF THE KINGS is Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia is 1b. He is GOOD. Doug Christie is the conventional comparison - if he can get his shot a bit more consistent, he'll be a rich man's Doug. That's exciting.

We all thought this explosion of minutes for the youngsters would mean nothing but smiles. Well, there's going to be a lot of headsmacking as well.