Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

October 18, 2007
The Not So Enchanted State

A quick greetings from New Mexico, where the playoff-like game on Tuesday in Las Cruces has been quickly forgotten in light of the Justin Williams situation.
In brief, Williams is in Sacramento and has been placed on a leave of absence from the team. For now, it appears the Kings will stand by him and wait to learn more about the case. His non-guaranteed contract, obviously, would make it very easy for the team to part ways with Justin right away, but he remains on the team. If he is charged, a not-guilty plea could mean the case is drawn out for months and I don't have a sense as to whether the Kings would be willing to endure more negative PR to remain supportive.
Players were quiet on the subject at shoot-a-rounnd this morning at "The Pit" at the University of New Mexico, a whole lot of no comments and an attempt to get ready for tonight's game against Utah.
To rewind, though, to the Kings' 101-99 loss to Dallas on Tuesday, I walked away with two general impressions. The defense, for one, looked very strong - with rotations being made much more effectively than last season, the guys communicating and the Mavericks generally having to fight for shots. A few industry experts (coaching and scouting types) I polled were very impressed, too.
Secondly, fans and folks around the team were very surprised by how much the starters played considering this is typically the time to play end-of-bench guys as the evaluating continues. My take is that it was a one-shot thing, with Kings coach Reggie Theus looking to give his old Las Cruces folks a good show. What's more, Dallas coach Avery Johnson was matching him with how much he used his starters. Next thing you know, it feels like the 2004 first round playoffs all over again. I expect more reserves to play tonight. - Sam Amick

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