Oh, how I missed Kings Basketball.
I'm not talking about the four-day lay-off between games -- I didn't really miss the Kings much last week. Sure, some mornings I'd wake up and feel as if I had no purpose because there was no awful turnovers to criticize or shot selection to bemoan. I mean, with no Kings basketball, what's a man to criticize and bemoan? But no, I didn't miss the physical act of watching an awful team, The Worst Team.
I have missed Kings Basketball though. Sensible movement, crisp passing, smooth shooting. Transition ... the extra pass ... the roar of the ARCO faithful.
Since 2007, we've only had glimpses of Kings Basketball. Sunday night offered once such glimpse. It might be seven months before we get another glimpse. But for those two hours when the circuits connect and the sparks fly, hell it will be worth all the gnarly content in between.
* The top five Kings shot-takers combined for 98 points on 71 adjusted shot attempts (FGAs + 1/2 FTAs), for 1.38 points per shot or 69% True shooting. The top four Nuggets shot-takers: 96 points on 88 adjusted shot attempts, for 1.09 points per shot or 54% True shooting. That's the ballgame, right there.
* The Nuggets had an effective field goal percentage of below 45%, while their season average to date is over 50%. The defense -- especially around the perimeter -- worked.
* Kevin Martin: 26/8/7. That's a LeBron line.
* Career high for Spencer Hawes with 20 points. The team's rebounding was absolutely atrocious -- Nene had five offensive rebounds, and Chris Andersen had three. But it's hard to fault Hawes much, considering how untouchable his offense looked.
* Andres Nocioni looked good, hungry in the starting line-up. He jumped out early to assert some sort of Kings attitude ... and it worked.
* But this game belongs to ...
Nineteen points on 12 total shots, two blocks and a steal ... coming off the bench for the first time in a while ... for a 13-49 team ... with a broken finger. Playing with a broken finger when you're the Alpha on a team contending for a title? That's tough, but expected. Playing with a broken finger as a role player with a five-year contract on an awful team after being moved to the bench in a roster shake-up?
Francisco Garcia is a man, man.