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What's Left to See in Sacramento: Kevin Martin

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Now that the dust has cleared, let's consider the remaining 27 games of the Sacramento Kings' 2008-09 season.

Kevin Martin

Speed has managed to boost his three-point shooting percentage for the fifth straight season. He's already No. 57 in NBA history. He's taking more threes than ever. This is encouraging, and we should hope it continues.

Martin's two-point field goal percentage, however, is painful. He's at 42% there, the worst clip since his rookie season. It's not a matter of not getting foul calls -- his FTA/game are higher than ever. It's a combination of settling for the attempt to simply draw contact in the act of shooting too often, and of not finishing. The latter can be partly attributed to the spell when his ankle looked worse; the first part -- settling too often for a chance at a whistle -- needs to be fixed. Still, his True Shooting percentage is on the cusp of 60%; if he manages that, he'd be one of the few to maintain such an efficient clip for four straight seasons. (It's unheard of for a top scorer.)

His turnovers have increased this season. The most blatant change in this regard as been the propensity to travel when trying to blow by a defender on the perimeter. Not fun. But this has been limited recently; it appears he has figured out the problem and nipped it. All told, he has a low turnover rate for a high-usage player. But it used to be lower, and it'd help the team greatly were it lower again.

Martin's defense in Wednesday's game against Atlanta was the best we've seen since 2005-06. He basically shut down Joe Johnson, with some help. No small feat. Defensive rebounding ties in with this; it's been a problem all year for Kevin, but something that has improved of late. With Mikki Moore and John Salmons gone, the team's rebounding should naturally improve. But it needs even more of a boost, and Martin can improve here.

And yes ... that mystical mistress named Leadership. It's hard to argue that a team that looks like this has had any leadership. Martin leads by example, but there were/are too many examples to the contrary. I'm not absolving Martin, or burdening Martin. This is a bad team overall, and that's no one player's fault. But at some point, your highly paid players need to grab everyone by the lapels and scream a bit. I think Kevin knows that. I think he has known that since November. But that's a tough skill to develop in these circumstances, and I have trouble blaming him for Brad Miller not caring.