Through the scattered static that accompanies every game I hear over AM radio broadcasting from Sacramento, the early score of today's season opener for the Kings against the Timberwolves at the Target Center showed our hoops heroes down early, as they struggled to shoot more than 30%, and couldn't stop Kevin Garnett. As the sound faded in and out, I heard the Kings' chances doing the same thing, while they trailed by 7 in the second quarter, closing the gap to tie it on three occasions during my drive home, but never finding a way to push over the hump and take the lead. An hour later, the T-Wolves had wrapped up the victory, sending the 2006-07 Kings off with a 0-1 record to start the year.
The Kings didn't shock anyone with their brilliance this pre-season, winning some games and losing others, but lacking the consistent teamwork and offense required to compete in today's NBA. With news that starting guard Mike Bibby would possibly miss time with a broken finger, the team's prospects looked even more dire. But we were excited to hear that Bibby felt well enough to play in tonight's game, and he did manage to put up 16 points, tied for second on the team in the eventual 93-82 loss, following a 28-17 4th quarter fade. The team's 4th quarter collapse was exacerbated by none other than Bibby, who hurt the team with his mouth, picking up two costly technical fouls and being removed from the game.
On the road, against a powerful conference foe, the Kings can hardly afford to see their team leader exit early, and they can't expect to win games by missing more than 5 out of every 8 shots. I hope it was just early-season jitters, and not, instead, a sign of things to come.
Listening to ''Love You More'', by Armin van Buuren (Play Count: 7)