While Iâ€™ve been out in front leading the â€œitâ€™s just the preseasonâ€ parade, the consistently poor performances of the Lakers in the last several weeks combined with the consistent spat of injuries is disconcerting. Especially since the first three weeks of the season are loaded with good teams where the Lakers will have to play well just to be near .500.
I had hoped that tonight, the final preseason game (against the Kings), we would see some normal rotations and a team that looked ready for the season, but that is not to be the case. No Kobe (wrist injury), no Lamar. So, we can watch tonight and see what the Lakersâ€™ second unit looks like against a team with some talent (but stuck in limbo). However, in the grand scheme, this game will show us little and mean less â€” seeing how Bynum and Kwame play will be the most interesting thing.
All that leaves me with some trepidation heading into the regular season next Tuesday â€” have we even seen five good minutes out of what will be the starting lineup for the Lakers against Houston? Itâ€™s just the preseason, where the games are virtually meaningless and lineup experimentation is the norm, but consistent poor play still has me uneasy.
As for tonightâ€¦.
I saw the Kings in person against the Clippers Wednesday night, although Iâ€™ll admit that because of the dayâ€™s events for me I wasnâ€™t laser focused. That said, hereâ€™s what I saw:
Mike Bibby was in midseason form, torching the Clipper point guards all night. Granted, the existing Clipper ones are not really known for their defense, but Bibby looks ready and will be a good test for Fisher and Farmar.
Kevin Martin had an off night, but I donâ€™t expect that to mean much because heâ€™s too good. Francisco Garcia had an off night and Iâ€™m questioning if that is part of a larger trend.
Brad Miller is past his prime and Kwame/Bynum should be able to take it too him down on the block (Kaman did a couple times). And I thought Mikki Moore would bring more of a presence to this team along the baseline than I saw â€” and I guess I wasnâ€™t alone as Reggie Theus announced that Kenny Thomas would start the season for the Kings at the four and Moore will come off the bench.
John Salmons looked better than I remember him being, and some Kings fans said it was an off night for him.
Not much else to add here, and not sure there is much we will be able to take away from this game when its over.
Finally, the last installment of the Fesivus of the NBA, focused on the Pacific. And the wise Tom Ziller looks smart in our eyes because he agrees with what weâ€™ve said since the trade was made:
it wasn’t the Shaq trade which sent Los Angeles into the void â€” it was the Caron Butler trade. Really, I’m shocked that one didn’t work out.
And hereâ€™s a song about telling Buss that he needs to keep Kobe that is worth a listen.