On Tap: The Sacramento Kings

Kurt —  January 19, 2006

Record: 16-21 (Pythagorean 14-23), 12th seed in the West
Record last 10 games: 6-4
Offensive Rating: 107.6 (12th in league)
Defensive Rating: 108.5 (20th in league)

The Lakers coming in: The Miami game was one of the more complete Laker games of the season — sparked by good defense, particularly in the first half.

A quick thought about the offense — it is much better when there is a second player doing some dribble penetration. It’s usually Odom, sometimes Smush, but when one of them can take their man off the dribble — so all of that doesn’t fall to Kobe — the Laker offense is at its best. Which is why we need more games out of Odom like the Miami one.

The Rivalry: Is there really still a rivalry here? I’m not sure we down here in L.A. ever really thought there was one, we just had some tough games with them back in the early part of the Oughts (is that what we’re calling this decade?). But it was just the same as playing Portland or Utah to most of us.

However, the hatred for LA and its basketball team never went away up in that town where Schwarzenegger lives part time. Just check out the usually great Sactown Royalty blog, where Tom has done a “Five most hated Lakers of all time” countdown. And he even takes out one of his own in the process. This is what hate can do to you — Tom, the guy behind that blog, is a very bright and reasoned man, I like him. But when talking about the Lakers he goes from Michael Corleone to Sonny.

Introductions I’d like to see: Peja, I’d like you to meet Ronny Turiaf. He had open-heart surgery back in the fall but is ready to play now, having battled his way to a Laker contract— all on effort and desire. Just thought you two should meet.

About the Kings: Yes they have struggled this season, but they have played well of late, including a 30-point thrashing of the Phoenix Suns two nights ago. In that game Brad Miller was one assist away from a triple-double and some guy named Francisco Garcia had a career high in points.

Tonight the Kings will get back Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who is coming back to play just a couple of weeks after his jaw was broken — he’ll be playing with it still wired shut. He’s been giving the Kings 18.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per 40 minutes, with an impressive true shooting percentage of 60.5%. They also will get back Peja Stojakovic, from a hangnail or whatever, but this could be good for the Lakers — in the last five games he played he has shot just 44.6% (eFG%) and hasn’t been quite the huge threat he used to be all season.

Get to know the names Kevin Martin and Kenny Thomas. Thomas is a four who can hit the boards hard (grabbing 14.1% of the rebounds while he is on the floor this season) and is shooting 55.8% in the last 10 games, getting a bump in run while Abdur-Rahim was injured. Martin is a guard getting a bump in playing time while Peja was injured, and is shooting 57.3% (eFG%) in the last 10 games, and is shooting 44.4% from beyond the arc.

Reasons the Lakers need to win:
I made a bet with Tom of Sactown Royalty: The winner gets to post a picture on the other’s blog. I don’t really want to look at a photo Peja wincing in pain — or whatever he’s going to post — when I log onto my blog. Also, I’ll take suggestions on what photo I should post on Sactown when the Lakers win.

Kurt

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3 responses to On Tap: The Sacramento Kings

  1. I can’t beleive the spread on tonights game is “Even”. Is there something they know that we do not? We’re playing the Queens?
    The ball handlers (Smush, Odom, Kobe) should be able to do what they wish out there tonight. The only thing that could hold them back is a bad shooting night. The Big men need to step up and control the boards. I am praying that Bynum will get some time and show even more potential after the Miami game.

    I perdict Kobe goes for 40+ and doesn’t take more than 40% of his teams shoots. Most of his points will be for the line tonight.

    PIcture: Put a picture of the starting five and title it “The New Capital of California”

    D

  2. Prediction for this game:

    Ok, didn’t see the Brian Cook ejection coming. Luckily, the Lakers still made a stand against the Heat.

    Against the Kings, I think the defense is key. We need Bibby to be held to 25 or less. And Odom scoring more than 10 would help.

    As for a picture – how can you go wrong posting a shot of Robert Horry’s three after the Vlade tapout? Having friends in Sactown, I think this shot may have been sweeter than that year’s championship, in some ways.

  3. How about the boxscore from Game 7 with the FGA-FGM highlighted.