Posted by: Kingsguru21 | November 6, 2009

The not “what should Kevin Martin do” post, but “what the Kings should do instead” post

I could sit here and tell you everything that TZ already wrote at StR. I’d be lying if I could say it better, with less bitterness and anger. So I won’t bother.

Sam Amick insinuates well that there are some within the Kings franchise who aren’t stopping the Kevin Martin is brittle talk:

There are credibility issues all over this thing, but the fact of the matter is that much of the skepticism sprouts from in-house and spills over into the mouthpieces who set the tone with the fans. It’s a big problem that could have big consequences. We’ll get into that more in the paper.

I can say that the biggest mouthpiece on the internet, and many readers of said mouthpiece, is not one of them. I can say I’m not one of them.

I want Kevin to play to shutup the idiot’s and the assholes who keep saying the guy is soft. (Nevermind that he played through the same injury against Atlanta and made it worse by playing through the pain. Nevermind the guy played on an ankle most franchises would have insisted Kevin shut it down last season.) I’m as big a Kevin Martin fan as Tom Ziller is. (Or, no less of K-Mart fan at least.) I walk around a sub 40 degree city in the wintertime with my Martin jersey proudly displaying it. Trust me, no-one is a bigger K-Mart fan than I.

So, that’s that. Get 100% Kevin. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way it is. This isn’t fighting through a nagging injury. It’s fighting through an injury that will probably get worse if you play. Sit dude.


So what exactly the Kings should do now?

They put Desmond Mason on waivers. (mostIme Udoka will play in his first game likely) against Utah Saturday.

So who else in on the roster that can play the 2?

You have Sergio Rodriguez and Beno Udrih as your PG’s. You also have Tyreke Evans who is starting (and obviously will remain so). I can see this being part of the solution PW comes with simply because Beno Udrih is one of the best shooters the Kings have when he is shooting well. The one thing you need with Tyreke Evans on the court is better shooting.

I think the first option that Paul Westphal will go with is to bring Udrih in as a starter alongside Evans to play him at the 2 where he is more comfortable in terms of offense, and run Udrih off the ball alot at the same time.

Another option is to play Udoka or Omri Casspi at the 2 as well. I’m not a big fan of this because I think Casspi is a better 3 right now, and the matchup’s play better for hiim and the Kings when he’s at the SF spot.

You have Andres Nocioni, Sean May, Jason Thompson, Spencer Hawes, Kenny Thomas, Jon Brockman, and Donte Greene as the rest of your roster.

Obviously Noc, May, JT, Spence, K9, and Brockman won’t even be able to defend the 2 nor is it an advantage to play any of them there.

To butcher a great line: Donte Greene; Line 2 is holding. It wants to know if you’re ready to snatch NBA minutes from the jaws of career failure.

This is simple. Donte Greene has a chance to put himself into the rotation by working at whatever PW asks of him. There will be defensive matchup’s that PW will ask Greene to defend and do well. If Greene can play competently on the offensive end (hit a reasonable share of 3’s, hit his inside shots at a high clip) Greene can be a major force defensively if he can figure out how to play.

On the other hand, I think PW needs to give Donte less of a short leash that PW has, along with Kenny Natt, had him on up until this point. Donte Greene has played better (in what minutes he’s gotten) when he knows he’ll be out there. There’s activity. There’s plays made. Greene can impact this team defensively unlike anyone not named Tyreke.

If you’re not going to have Kevin Martin for 6-8 weeks, this is a golden opportunity to solidify how good Omri Casspi and Donte Greene.

While I haven’t talked about Casspi, this is a tremendous opportunity for Omri to show off all his abilities.

My hope? That Omri & Donte come off the bench together. That each play their style of game and bring it. Because while one door swings closed due to mis-fortune or ill timing, this same mis-fortune and ill timing for Kevin Martin could be what convinces the Kings brass (and PW) that Donte Greene should be getting rotation time.

I know. He’s not done well up until this point. PW has been very critical of Donte’s certain skillset’s, and I don’t blame him. But, at some point you have to roll the ball out there and see if the kid can take the next step.

What do you have to lose? More games? I mean, the team is already 1-4 with Kevin Martin, your best player, as is.

I’m not saying Kevin is totally responsible for that record. I’m saying the team can’t claim it’s trying to win games when it’s current allotment of players are not winning games at a high rate.

I only see one glimmer of hope from a doomed and shitty situation: Find a way to make Donte Greene, your one young, recently option picked up player, that is currently not seeing any minutes, as valuable as possible.

Difficult? No shit. Impossible? That just takes a little bit longer.

In the paper today, Amick had this to say about potential combination’s used:

The most obvious move is to start Beno Udrih at point guard and move rookie Tyreke Evans to shooting guard. The unorthodox Westphal could also tinker with a variety of combinations involving Evans, Nocioni and rookie Omri Casspi at shooting guard, and continuing to bring Udrih off the bench.

Et tu, Brutus? If there was ever a time to show faith in a young talent like Greene, this is it. Granted, there are two sides to this deal. Part of this is Greene doing everything he can in his power to do what PW asks of him.

At one point, Truck Robinson was even caught publicly mentioning that he thinks Greene is a 2 guard.

On the other hand, PW needs to give Donte some leeway to make a few mistakes here & there. Up until now, that leeway has not been given. I think in order for Donte to get off the ground, he has to make a play for the job. Defend the guy who is just mercilessly giving the Kings major problems. (On Saturady, this very well could be Andrei Kirilenko.)

I’m a big Donte Greene fan if it isn’t obvious. I’ve seen enough potential in him that makes me believe that some other team will take a flier on him even if the Kings eventually give up on him. He has that kind of potential that is difficult for a head coach, who is trying to win games, and reasonably so, to tap with so many challenges to balance at the same time.

I knew Donte wasn’t going to get any minutes to start the season. With Mason, Nocioni, Casspi, Evans, Udrih, Martin (obviously) all ahead of him at the 2/3 positions, it was going to be tough to see minutes.

I personally hope to see this lineup for at least 10-20 minutes while Martin is out: Evans, Casspi, Greene, Thompson and Hawes.

Wouldn’t that be fun? Personally, even though it’s disappointing Kevin Martin isn’t going to be able to play 82 games for the first time in his career, I do think it’s a tremendous opportunity for all hands to make this situation work.

What made Rick Adelman so compelling as a coach was to be able to work past these kind of issue’s. It happens to every team, and every team has to figure out how to make things work without a player of Martin’s caliber in their lineup for awhile.

So, why can’t the Kings make it work (within reason–this is still a 20 win team after all) with this group?

Every team goes through injuries. Even sometimes to their major stars. Chris Webber, as great as he was, missed an average of 19% of the total games before his major microfracture surgery. Kevin Martin? Just a little over 80%. (Note: I took out Martin’s first season.)

So, if people didn’t notice because the Kings were winning 50+ games yearly when Webber missed these games, I think people need to relax about Kevin Martin missing games. We’ve already gone through this before with the team’s best player. (It’s just fans are stupid.)

If Paul Westphal wants to play Omri Casspi or Ime Udoka at the 2, I’ll understand. But, if PW is so adamant that Donte Greene can’t play at all, there is no point in keeping Donte on the active roster. With the D-League season firing up, and with Greene not getting a chance to get minutes on this current roster without Martin, I say let this thing work.

PW, if you don’t let Donte off the leash, I’ll say your this:

Paul Westphal has just seen what happens when you don't run out your young talent on the floor (H/T to Bamboozled at StR for the wonderful pic.)

PW: Free Donte. Donte’s brain: Free Donte to play basketball. His employer needs him now more than over.

That is all.



  1. […] sense, and that Kevin Martin listens to them. In the long run, I feel, this will be a good thing. (Read this if you haven’t already on my view of what PW and the franchise should handle the roster and […]

  2. Agree with you that it makes total sense for him to have the surgery and not aggravate the injury and perhaps create far more serious problems down the road.

    I don’t know how this injury makes Kevin “soft” but it does make him seem to be unlucky. Cisco’s injury was freaky, totally unanticipated and unforeseeable. BTW, I like what I’ve heard about Cisco coaching both ‘Reke and Bom-ri.

    As usual, we are going to disagree on Donté but not in a way you may think. This would be a great time for é to step up and replace the injured star and do well. Cue the triumphal music and cut to a scene where é’s dad is talking to him on the phone saying something like “I always believed in you son.” Your basic Rockyesque ending.

    Actually I think it makes sense as you laid it out but I don’t think Donté is ready, not because he doesn’t have the skills (questionable but not entirely implausible) but because right now he is so afraid of making a mistake he is practically paralyzed when he goes out on the floor.

    Whatever shreds of his tattered confidence remain I don’t think mentally he is ready to step into to Kevin’s spot and continue to learn the position and also carry the weight of the teams and the fans expectations.

    Just as it was the correct decision for Kevin to have the surgery on his wrist it is still the right decision to send é to Reno and get plenty of burn and work on what the team wants him to emphasize. If he can master that, improve his game and his shattered psyche then…..and only then, will he possibly return to the Kings and contribute in a meaningful way.

    If he is put in now and fails again then it will just about end any possibility that he will grow into the player you see so much potential in. From the team’s standpoint there is not much to lose at this point and barring a trade they will let some combination of the kids play heavy minutes. Storybook ending aside, this is the last thing that Donté needs to do right now.

    • You know BJ, I wish I could agree with you that Donte afraid is to make a mistake, but the reality is that if he does make a mistake PW has a short hook.

      I do understand why you think what it is you do BJ. If the organization won’t play Donte with Kevin Martin out for 2 months, when are they going to find time for him to play? As such, I don’t know that the NBDL would be the place for him to regain his confidence. On the other hand, maybe it could.

      As far as a trade is concerned, the Kings would have to wait until the deadline to trade Udoka (and it would be cheaper to waive him before his contract was guaranteed if he doesn’t work out), and the most likely player to be traded is Noc so the team can get some salary relief.

      Your point about Donte’s shattered confidence is a good one, and I understand why anyone would feel that way. But, I think part of that comes from playing nervous that every mistake will result in a quick hook from PW.

      I think Donte recovering quickly will come somewhat from PW & the coaching staff. Let him play his way through a few mistakes and maybe his confidence to go out there & play balls out may come.

      With no risks, there are no rewards BJ.

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