Preview & Chat: The Sacramento Kings

Kurt —  March 2, 2007

Pat Riley circa 1988. Gatinho found a great You Tube clip of Chick Hearn interviewing Pat Riley at halftime of a Lakers game (against the Spurs, the Lakers are up by 5). Topics include that “crazy” contract David Robinson just got ($26 million over 10 years), Bill Sharmen, the emergence of one AC Green and the unforgettable Mike Smrek.

A great find — You Tube may be the best thing ever. Well, right behind beer and basketball.

Welcome back old friends. Looks like the Lakers get Kwame Brown back tonight, although he will come off the bench (at least for the first few games). Luke Walton is a possibility, although he could be back Sunday.

Dear Ron-Ron. Ron Artest has an advice column in Dime Magazine. Because if I wanted advice on how to save a relationship….

Give the ball to Artest. This may sound strange, but it’s best for the Lakers if Ron-Ron is the guy dominating the ball. I’ll let the very wise Tom Ziller from Sactown Royalty explain:

The last four games: at New Jersey, Ron plays and dominates the ball, Kings lose in an incredibly ugly and uninteresting way; at Indiana, Ron sits, Kevin Martin dominates the ball, Kings look lovely on offense and win walking away; at Philadelphia, Ron plays and dominates the ball, Kings lose in an incredibly ugly and uninteresting way; vs Charlotte, Ron sits, Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby dominate the ball, Kings look lovely on offense and win walking away. I have no doubt Ron will play Friday against the Lakers. Hmm… wonder what’s going to happen to the Kings’ offense.

Better Artest than Bibby. When the Lakers and Kings got together back in January, Mike Bibby torched the Lakers — and Smush in particular. He had 38 points on 61.9% shooting, plus got to the line 16 times. Smush, with Bynum behind him, was -9, the only starter in the negative.

The Kings ran a lot of high pick-and-roll and the Lakers struggled with it. That would beat the top of the list of things that need to improve tonight.

One more note from Sactown Royalty. One that says a lot about young Martin and the aging Bibby:

Kevin Martin’s 3-point field goal percentage is higher than Mike Bibby’s overall percentage.

It’s all about the defense. On the season, the Charlotte Bobcats have been a better defensive team than the Lakers (by about 1 point per 100 possessions). Wednesday night the Kings shot 73% (eFG%) and 63.6% from beyond the arc against the Bobcats.

The Bobcats didn’t show up on defense and the Kings got on a roll, but considering the Lakers are fully capable of forgetting to play defense this needs to serve as a reminder.

Things to look for: I hope Mo Evans’ knees are healthy enough to play, because I want to see him covering Kevin Martin (I expect that match up). This should be fun to watch.

Last meeting the Kings started doubling Kobe early, but other Lakers like Cook and Walton stepped up and the Lakers got off to a fast start. Other guys need to step up again, as they have the last few games.

Also, the Kings had success fronting Bynum in the post last meeting; the Lakers need to make them pay with lobs if that happens again.

Kurt

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13 responses to Preview & Chat: The Sacramento Kings

  1. I think Shammond Williams is going to have his best game of his career tonight. I dont know why but that is what I think is going to happen. He is going to put up these numbers against the Kings ronight.

    19 pts.
    7 ast.
    4 reb.
    3 stl.
    1 TO

  2. Beating the Kings is always fun, though I’ll admit I’d rather Phil scale back PT for all our hurt/returning/sick/etc. players. Keeping this streak alive would be great, and getting the win could be important as a momentum game, but at the risk of looking ahead, Sunday and the following three games (all on the road) are looming kind of large. Just a bit worried about overextending before a week long trip instead of getting people healthy and ready.

    A random question: Due to some schedule change, the game tonight is not going to be on ESPN, as was originally planned. Does anyone know if the League Pass will now carry the game, or if out here in New York I’m screwed?

  3. I’m hoping Bynum has a big game tonite, maybe with Kwame coming back it’ll give him a little incentive to show the staff why he should remain in the starting lineup.

  4. “Due to some schedule change, the game tonight is not going to be on ESPN, as was originally planned. Does anyone know if the League Pass will now carry the game, or if out here in New York I’m screwed?”

    The game is going to be carried locally on FSN West, so I’m guessing it will be on League Pass.

  5. Okay, I can’t find the link anymore to the original Kwame story where he joked about catching the ball. But I read it and an important piece of info was another quote from him. He basically said he hoped to catch up with the team because they had implemented some new offensive and defensive plays. “Defensive plays” stuck out in my mind. Hopefully this means a real adjustment has happened and that the Lakers D is back on track.

  6. Big “Momentum” game for us tonight. It would be ideal if we could have a blowout game tonight like we had against Boston and GS. That way we can carry it into the Phoenix game and have a chance of actually winning that game.
    Last time we played the Kings was that TNT game where Barkley was the announcer and everytime Bynum got the ball, Charles would yell, “Be aggressive young man… they got a midget guarding you!” Hopefully we see some aggression out of Socks tonight… especially if he wants to show Phil that he should be starting.

  7. New nickname: Kobe is now referring to VladRad as “half pipe.” Classic.

  8. Derek Banducci March 2, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    5. Here’s the relevant excerpt from that LA Times story you reference:

    Should Kwame end up getting some run, he’s expecting rust galore. “I’m out of sync a little bit. They put in some new plays and new defensive stuff. I wasn’t around for that, so hopefully they can catch me up tomorrow. I’m just trying to focus in on the stuff that I can do, not the stuff that I can’t.” He also offered a warning. “If you thought I couldn’t catch before, wait until tomorrow.”

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2007/03/kwames_official.html

  9. Boy, what a stinker of a first half. Mike Bibby is like Nate Archibald everytime he faces the Lake show. Jesus he kills us!

  10. 90 points we have given up through 3 quarters. This game is indicative of many of our main issues here.

  11. Bibby looked 10 years younger tonight in the box score. I didn’t see the game, but saw Smush’s minutes were way down. Who played PG in the first half when the Kings went way up?

  12. As a Smushaphobe, I can only take so much. I’m writing this with the Laker’s down 18 at the end of the third.

    Smushaholics will have to suffer.

    When you look at the box scores between Smush and Bibby, subtract at least 3 from Bibby. He made a 3 when Smush was out of the game.

    I wonder if Kurt would like to do his + – with the Smusher vs. Shammond (or McKie or Sasha)–or Kwame vs. Cook–or Turiaf vs. Bynum.

    Can’t blame this on rookie mistakes. I bet Jordan never realized how much he would benefit by NOT playing.

    Is a 30+ Kings first quarter a surprise with Smush and Cook starting?

  13. On the bright side it was good to see an aggressive odom, if he hadn’t whined so much it would have been a great game for him. I know he missed a lot of layups, but on any other night if he came with that kinda game he would put up ~30.