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.