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30Q: How Much Will Injuries Affect the Kings?

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30Q asks the important questions about the Kings all through September.

Interesting timing, this.

Injuries will forever rip through the backs of our minds as Kings fans. Of course, other teams suffer just as many catastrophic injuries. Even champions and contenders -- the [redacted] have lost Andrew Bynum during two straight seasons, the Celtics lost Kevin Garnett last season, the Suns have twice lost Amar'e Stoudemire, the Spurs lost Manu Ginobili at critical points in each of the last two seasons, the Magic lost Jameer Nelson in the stretch run. Every team suffers major injuries; that the Kings injuries have kept the team under water isn't particularly noteworthy.

The specific issue is that Sacramento has a shallow talent pool. When the [redacted] lose Bynum, they can start Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom up front. When the Kings lose Kevin Martin, Rashad McCants is getting 30 minutes a night. When Manu's out, the Spurs have Tony Parker and Tim Duncan (and now Richard Jefferson). When Martin's out, Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes pick up the slack.

So, in that sense, injuries don't truly affect the Kings as much as a shallow talent pool does. The Kings are so thin the team just can't afford to lose a major producer, like Martin, Jason Thompson or (one would suspect) Tyreke Evans. Luckily, Thompson played all 82 games last season, Evans didn't miss a game in Memphis  and Martin's ankle has healed. I'm beating the schnit out of some wood, like it pickpocketed me. Of course. I just don't think Martin's injuries can be considered chronic, and he has shown a willingness to play through pain. Ditto for Francisco Garcia, who will be nursing a broken finger.

Beno Udrih, on the other hand, has a reputation within the Kings organization as someone who can't play through pain. Some have said his injury is a good thing, as Evans and Sergio Rodriguez will grab more minutes in camp and preseason. I would argue that come October, Udrih has three months to save his Kings career, and we should be rooting for him to do so. Even if you're no Beno fan, having him as a sponge soaking cap space while giving nothing back is the worst-case scenario. I want him to succeed because he's a talented player, and the Kings need as much talent as possible. But no one will judge if you want him to succeed so trading him at some point in the future become realistic.