Kevin Martin Takes the Throne in Sacramento

D.S. CorpuzCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2006

IconYou know Kmart the department store.

And you know KMart the injured beast from Blizzard Town.

But do you know KMart III, or KM3—Kevin Martin of the Sacramento Kings, who's more than proved his worth after a "quiet" college career in Western Carolina?

If you don't, you should.  Let's go back to April 29th, 2006. 
Game 3 vs. the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs:  KM3 puts down an off-balance, off-the-top-of-the-backboard layup over Tim D. that would make even the Answer envious. Arco blows its top.

Flash forward to November 3rd. 

Against the Bulls, Martin hits a clutch corner jumper at the buzzer to seal the game. Different arena, same response from teammates and fans.

Now Kmart III—on a team with the baller formerly known as Artest, early-millenium playoff hero M-Bibby, and the dude they call Shareef—has emerged as an unlikely go-to-guy whose 22 points a game are raising more than a few eyebrows around the league.

But it's not just Martin's prolific scoring—it's his cool efficiency that's making heads turn.

Shooting 50/90 from the field and stripe doesn't happen too often—think Bird or Magic—and KM3's added another dimension to the stat line: He could be the first player in NBA history to go 50/90/45...as in 45 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

Of course it isn't right to mention Martin in the same breath as Larry and Earvin just yet, but you've got to admit:

His early-career clutch play is a bit reminiscent.

And Martin will continue to get those big shots as head coach Eric Musselman becomes increasingly confident in his third-year guard. Given time, the sky might just be the limit.

Not that he's a finished product. A natural scorer, Martin now needs to round out those areas of his game—mainly his defense and his off-the-ball movement—that will make him a complete player.

If he manages to do that, you can expect to see KM3 making the most of his team-leading 36.1 minutes a game...right at the end of BIG playoff games.

Still don't know KMart III?

Don't worry—you will.

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