Reality has set in for the Sacramento Kings -- they miss Chris Webber big time.
And if they don't do something to improve their defense and scoring output in a hurry, they'll be thinking about it all summer, watching as the Dallas Mavericks advance in a season when the Kings were on a viable quest for the franchise's first NBA title in 52 years.
Sacramento barely fell short in the 2002 Western Conference finals to the three-time defending champion LA Lakers.
The Mavericks lead the best-of-seven second-round series 3-2 heading into Thursday's Game 6 at Arco Arena. If necessary, Game 7 would be back in Dallas on Saturday.
The Mavericks are one win away from reaching the conference finals for only the second time. Last year, Dallas was eliminated in five games by Sacramento in the second round.
Without the injured Webber, the Kings have been inconsistent.
"They have no answers for him," Kings coach Rick Adelman said of the star forward. "I thought we really missed him in the fourth quarter. We had nothing happening. He's the momentum-breaker for us. That's where we miss him, where he can create things when we need them, but he's not here."
Webber has missed the last three games in the series and is expected to sit out the rest of the playoffs should the Kings advance. Webber, the Kings' leader in scoring, rebounding and assists, tore cartilage in his left knee in Game 2.