Michael Pina has a BA in English with a concentration in Journalism from the University of Delaware. He is currently living in his hometown of Boston.
Kevin Martin is the least talked about, most underrated player in professional basketball. In the 2009-10 season, already Martin’s sixth in the league, the Kings look to once again be rebuilding through a youth movement that unfortunately is loaded with embarrassingly terrible contracts (Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia and Desmond Mason) and young talents that are understandably unproven assets.
Coming off a season that saw him miss over 30 games due to injury, Martin now finds himself on the brink of being a household name. With the most unorthodox shooting form from a legitimate shooting threat since Reggie Miller played, Martin is one of the most complete offensive players in the league. As the only serious threat to put the ball in the basket on his team, Martin was the focus of every opposing team’s defense and still manage to finish sixth in the league in scoring two years ago.
The first round draft pick out of Western Carolina (just the sixth player in league history to come from that school) can get to the free throw line as good as anybody, shoot a decent three point shot and finish strong at the hole.
With a new starting point guard and back court partner in rookie of the year candidate Tyreke Evans, Martin could finally have a little offensive support which would only increase his field goal percentage.
New head coach Paul Westphal, historically a proponent of the run and gun style of offense that a backcourt tandem like Evans and Martin could eventually thrive in should also help the situation.
Due to all the reasons listed above, in the upcoming season Martin should be making the jump to his first all-star berth. It’s inevitable that a player of Kevin Martin’s caliber should eventually join the ranks of Brandon Roy and Deron Williams but the obvious difference here is the actual winning of basketball games. Martin has made only one post-season appearance as a 22-year old with Mike Bibby and Ron Artest serving as capable teammates.
Unless drastic moves are made, the Kings are most likely going to be at the bottom of the Western Conference for another couple of years, but regardless Martin’s constantly improved numbers should make for a trip to Cowboy Stadium in 2010.