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Loss That Means Everything and Nothing

In a realist sense, no game means anything for the Kings. Whether the Kings end up as the worst or second-worst team in the league is more a matter of fate than results at this point -- teams win close games, and they lose close games. The Kings have been in several close games of late, and you figure Washington has a few left in them, too. It's not about quality at this point: the Kings and Wizards (and toss the Grizzlies in too) are all awful, almost equally awful. The largest share of ping pong balls will essentially be decided randomly, with an edge to Sacramento.

But this game served as much of a microcosm as Tuesday's loss to New Orleans. To wit:

* No defense. At all. Attempts at defense, sure, most notably in the form of Jason Thompson, Andres Nocioni, Francisco Garcia, and a couple times Kevin Martin. I mean, the Warriors scored 143 points on about 123 possessions. The overtime session and naturally high speed of the Golden State offense didn't inflate things much. BAD defense. I don't know who you replace to fix it -- Monta Ellis went ballistic, and Kelenna Azubuike was rather insane. The switch-on-every-pick strategy is a disaster; I love J.T., but I really don't enjoy watching him cover Ellis on the perimeter. BAD IDEA.

* The failure of small ball. A few defensive rebounds in the last half-quarter would have been helpful. Hawes, who finished the game with one foul, played 21 minutes. He had a couple of bad turnovers, he had trouble finishing in the lane inexplicably. But he's basically one of your three or four best players. STOP PLAYING INTO THE OPPONENT'S GAME PLAN! I mean Hell, the guy hit three threes (in three attempts) in the first half ...

* Borderline stupid late-game execution. The last two minutes of overtime ... I want to erase it from my memory forever.

* KEVIN F---ING MARTIN. Good God Almighty. Fifty points with a True Shooting percentage of 74%. Offense at the two-guard spot is ... not a problem.

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Final - 4.1.2009 1 2 3 4 OT 1 Total
Sacramento Kings 40 36 30 26 9 141
Golden State Warriors 37 30 43 22 11 143

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Bad teams must keep short memories. But management needs to understand the problems here, as they pop up again and again, like demonic moles dodging every whack attempt. This hammer ain't working, bub. Time for another.