Flying Under the Radar: Francisco Garcia

The Sacramento Kings have an array of talented swing men. There is up and coming star Kevin Martin, the gifted yet troubled Ron Artest, the unheralded do everything John Salmons and then there is Francisco Garcia. The 6'7 G/F has contributed in all three of his years with the Kings, but following the trade of Mike Bibby, it appears that Garcia might be ready to take his game to the next level.

On the season, Garcia is averaging 12 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game and has filled in adequately for Martin and Artest, who have both seen their share of injuries this season. Now that Bibby is gone, Garcia is starting to see more playing time and he is making the most of it. Since Bibby was traded, Garcia has taken over for the Kings and is proving that he can be a leader, averaging 20 ppg.

What makes Garcia a commodity is his shooting ability, something that many NBA teams lack. He has made 42% of his 191 three-pointers taken this season, and is also deadly from mid-range. His height makes it tough for defenders to stop him, and usually opponents must resort to just putting a hand in his face.

Garcia has lacked consistency early in his NBA career, but that's not uncommon for a young player. He does much better when he starts at guard as opposed to forward, averaging 3 points per game higher, but Garcia has been willing to do anything for the Kings.

Weighing in at slightly under 200 lbs, Garcia isn't the biggest player and can be pushed around, but he has shown the desire to take on any player the Kings have asked to him guard. Garcia is very quick on defense and makes up for his lack of girth by jumping the passing lanes with regularity and using his lengthy wingspan to deflect passes. He is currently averaging over a steal per game.

Now Garcia is getting playing time as a point forward and is making the best of it. He has had the disadvantage of playing behind some skilled guard/forwards, especially Martin who plays in a very similar manner to Garcia, but now it seems that he has finally cracked the Kings rotation and might be there to stay.

Even if he doesn't start consistently, Garcia has validated that he is a solid NBA player who can do a multitude of things. He has been trying to improve on his rebounding and post positioning on defense, and he's averaging a career high in rebounds and steals this season. Garcia's versatility has made him a dangerous player for the Kings and other NBA teams are starting to take notice. The Magic will host the Kings on Sunday, and Garcia might be able to do some damage if he's left alone and not considered. Orlando might concentrate too heavily on Artest and Martin, and if that is the case, Garcia has proven that he can make the open trey consistently. If that happens, Garcia could fly under the radar and help lead the Kings to an upset victory over the Magic.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories