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Reach Through the Screen

Why on Earth do you leave your bench on the floor as the opponent -- who was well within striking range at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth -- waltzes out of the arena with a double-digit lead?

Reggie Theus pulled Kevin Martin, Beno Udrih and Brad Miller with two minutes left in the third. The score was Orlando 72, Sacramento 65.

Miller came back in for the struggling John Salmons two minutes into the fourth, with the Kings now down 9. Udrih came back in for the struggling Quincy Douby 3-1/2 minutes into the fourth, with the Kings now down 14. Martin came in for the defensively overmatched Spencer Hawes... 4-1/2 minutes into the fourth, with the Kings now down 18. !!!

Why did it take so long? Martin was shooting the ball beautifully, and getting to the rim virtually at will. His defense was as good as that by any other guard but Salmons. He had 10 rebounds and 5 assists. And he played 30 minutes, despite rest days on either side of Sunday. The only young player behind Martin who needs minutes is Douby, and all his minutes came at the point, even though the coaching staff had apparently figured out he's a shooting guard a month ago when they started playing him alongside Udrih in stretches. (Maybe tie a string on Randy Brown's finger? What does this string mean?! Oh, Quincy, you aren't supposed to be playing point, that's right. You can't get the team into its offense and inexplicably cannot translate your stunning quickness into ever turning the corner on pick-and-rolls. Thaaaat's right.)

Sacramento would likely have lost the game regardless. But they had a shot with their best offensive weapon on the court. Too bad he didn't get a chance to keep it close.

< / rare Theus rant >