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Ugh, I Ate a Bad Serving of Kings Basketball (Part #54)

Smiley faces. Come on! You can do it! Put a smile on your face ...

[A]gain, Kings interim coach Kenny Natt discussed the difficulties of having an offensive-minded center who loses his way defensively if he doesn't score early on.

"I know he can play better," Natt said. "We have to find a way to get him off to a good start (offensively). That is normally when he has a good game. That's the key and the focus in dealing with him.

This is known as Bizarro Thinking. It is when someone expresses an opinion that is not only sensible, but it the opposite of sensible.

Sensible thinking: if you're an offensive-minded center and your offense is borked, you had better contribute something else. Like defense. Or rebounding. Or ... I don't know, a general sense of hustle?

Bizarro Thinking: the key in dealing with an offensive-minded center is to make sure he gets a ton of shots early, so that he will be able to pull himself together and, um, compete on the defensive end and on the glass.

It's like having Amare Stoudemire without the Amare Stoudemire. A player who has averaged 28/8 and been named All-NBA first team ... maybe he can get away with this. A second-year player who didn't make the rookie or sophomore All-Star teams? You need to earn your keep, no matter how funky the offense looks.

The only reason to watch this game from the tip was to watch the young bigs. Jason Thompson gave us something to watch. Donté Greene, bricks and all, gave us something to watch (as well as four more defensive rebounds than Hawes' zero in just one extra minute). Hawes ... he gave us nothing positive. Not a thing.

With Hawes' brain, hands, size and talent, he should have a rebound every five minutes. His career average to date exceeds that -- I'm not asking for the Moon. Last night: 25 minutes, zero rebounds ... while Charlotte simply attacked the glass on every miss.

The young players need to earn their keep every night. You can't take over the league in fits and starts. You need to put up.