Tonightâ€™s the first Laker preseason game is against Golden State from Hawaii and at 10 p.m. (Pacific) and you can bet Iâ€™ll be in front of the television â€” either watching the game or my Tivoâ€™d Rome from Sunday.
See, the first three Laker preseason games are not being broadcast here in Southern California because KCAL (channel 9) and the Lakers couldnâ€™t reach an agreement on the additional games. Basically, KCAL didnâ€™t want the added expense of getting crews in place and feeds set up from Hawaii.
However, all is not lost for us in So Cal if you have DirecTV or Dish Network you can get the game on a free preview of the NBAâ€™s League Pass. Same for those of us with digital cable, allegedly, although last night when I tried to find where it would be shown I couldnâ€™t figure it out on my system (Time Warner). My best advice is to light a candle in a church on your way home tonight then search around for it if you have cable.
The rumor is the game will be shown in the Bay Area on that areaâ€™s Fox Sports Net. Also, since itâ€™s on League Pass theoretically people in other parts of the nation can catch it, too.
If you do watch it, post comments on what you see and think below.
One thing you may see is Luke Walton in the starting lineup. Phil Jackson suggested that was a possibility yesterday â€” a lineup of Odom at the point (or point/forward, if you prefer), Walton at the two, Kobe at the three, Kwame at the four and Mihm at the five. With the way the Lakers will run the triangle using interchangeable parts, I think this could be good offensive unit â€” Waltonâ€™s passing skills will be a great fit, especially if he can consistently hit 18-20 foot jumpers (Walton hit just 39.6% [eFG%] of jump shots last year and 42.6% in his rookie years, both numbers that need to improve).
My only question about that lineup â€” which I imagine weâ€™ll see at points whether Walton starts or not â€” is who will defend smaller point guards, like Barron Davis tonight? Walton isnâ€™t quick enough to do it. Kobe could do a good job but you will be forcing him to expend more energy on defense and risking foul trouble.
I guess weâ€™ll find out starting tonight. If I can find the game.