Preview & Chat: The Sacramento Kings

Kurt —  April 7, 2009

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 5
Records: Lakers 61-16 (1st in West) Kings 16-60 (15th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 112.5 (3rd in league) Kings 105.8 (25th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 104.6 (6th in league) Kings 114.5 (30th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Kings Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, Andres Nocioni, Jason Thompson, Spencer Hawes

NCAA Pool: Congratulations to Wildyams 09, who won the first ever FB&G NCAA Tournament Pool. He gets the shirt and the chance to lord it all over us for a year.

The Lakers coming in Really fascinating work up today at Basketball Prospectus done by Kevin Pelton that shows the Lakers play at one of the fastest paces in the league. We sort of already knew that — by “traditional” pace measurements the Lakers are sixth in the league in pace.

Now, bear with me for the paragraph about statistics. (If your eyes just rolled up into your head, just go check out the latest Machine video.)

The NBA chooses not to make possessions an official statistic, so there are estimation formulas out there. The formula distinguishes between “plays” and “possessions” and the easiest way to explain the difference is this — if Sasha takes a jumper and misses, but Gasol grabs the rebound and passes out to reset the offense, that is considered a second play but still part of one possession.

But what about teams that are good at offensive rebounding? They will appear to play at a statistically slower pace than really is happening. So, with the help of 82games.com, Pelton put together how long it takes, on average, a team to get their first shot off (or turn the ball over or get fouled).

Do that, and the Lakers actually are tied with Golden State for fastest in the league, at 11.5 seconds for the first action. That validates what we see with our eyes, at least to me. The Lakers still do get some fast break baskets, but even in the half court the movement tends to start early — the ball goes into Gasol and cutters move and often there is a fairly quick pass or shot. The Lakers rarely are jacking up shots to beat the clock (especially compared to a couple years ago).

However, on defense the Lakers tend to slow other teams down (Golden State, not so much). The Lakers are forcing other teams to go deeper into their offense, which is good. What was interesting is that Cleveland was tied with Golden State for letting teams shoot fast, but the Cavs are a good defensive team — they seem to rush teams into bad shots.

Bottom line, you should read the entire article.

The Kings Coming In: Speaking of things you should read — Sactown Royalty. If you are not reading Ziller (there or at Fanhouse) you are missing out on some of the best NBA writing anywhere. Not to mention the pretty graphs.

Ziller talks about just how good Kevin Martin is — he is on his way to a third straight year of averaging 20 PPG while having a true shooting percentage above 60%. Jordan did it four times. Kareem is the all time leader at 11. The list of efficent high-volume scorers is interesting, and the fact Martin is on it says a lot.

But Martin is not expected to play tonight due to an ankle injury.

This is not the same Kings team that gave the Lakers fits earlier this season — gone are Brad Miller and John Salmons. And good riddance. They are now counting on the guard play of Martin and Francisco Garcia, with the young Jason Thompson and Nocioni in the frontcourt. And they have a different coach. The team has basically changed everything except cities… wait, I shouldn’t be giving the Maloofs ideas.

Keys To The Game: There are a couple guys that could give the Lakers trouble — Beno can drive the paint, Garcia can shoot the ball. Nocioni is can hit a jumper and is strong going to the hole if you let him. McCants can bomb away from three if you let him. Spencer Hawes can score if you leave him alone.

The real issue for the Lakers is focus. What is left of the Sacramento team just isn’t very good, the only very good they have is injured. They don’t have guys good at creating for themselves let alone others. They try to compensate with a fair amount of off-the-ball movement. That can be stopped with communication and focus.

Also, the Kings are not a good defensive team. Worst in the league. Run the offense and the points will come. (This could be a slump-buster night for the bench. Let us hope.)

The Lakers should — should — take care of business. They should have ice on the knees of the starters by the fourth and tonight it should stay on.

But we said that should happen two nights ago, and it didn’t. This is an NBA game and you can’t just walk out there and win.

Where you can watch: 7 pm start out West with the game on KCAL 9.

Kurt

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140 responses to Preview & Chat: The Sacramento Kings

  1. Nitpick, but the Lakers are 61-16. They need 2 more Ws to ensure HCA against Boston or Cleveland and three to enusre HCA against Orlando.

    I was personally glad Dallas won Sunday; I prefer that matchup to one vs. Phoenix.

  2. “ensure” Sorry.

  3. 2 more wins to ensure HCA against Cleveland is definitely wrong

  4. Yep. Got distractedby someone talking to me. They need to tie Cleveland and are one game behind them. They need to beat Orlando by one game since Orl. swept them. The two to ensure against Boston is right, though.

  5. I did make the change to 61. But the Lakers magic number to tie Cleveland is 6. Boston is not catching us. Unless we do things like lose to the Kings.

  6. Nothing to say on the Kings aside from the old Al Davis old standby: “Just win, baby.” No more L.A. loses to bad teams. The time for that has passed.

    Shifting gears, I just watched that the video of Bynum’s pregame workouts with Shaw and Rambis. Very encouraging…

    His conditioning looked off, which it to be expected. He was gasping for air more than he should when basically playing a half-cort drill. His lift also wasn’t what we’re accustomed to. But he was fluid, Odom’s described his scrimmage as “awesome” and so long as there are reasonable expectations as to what AB can contribute I think we’re all going to be pleased.

    10-15 minutes of solid play at first; clog the lane and board; and whatever points come his way are a bonus. Hopefully he’ll get some conditioning back in the off-day practices that are so common in the first round these days.

  7. Yeah, the Lakers would need to win all 5games left if Cleveland loses only one more. As many have said, I am more concerned about HCA against the Celtics than against the Cavs.

  8. Call me crazy, but right now I am more concerned about playing well in these last few games, getting Drew some minutes to help him get back in shape, and then getting out of the Western Conference without having to take any series to 7 games. The time to worry about HCA over eastern teams is after the WC Finals.

  9. I would like to see Sasha get a little more burn tonight. Last year he got to play a lot with the starters which I think opened him up and gave him a lot of open looks. With him playing very limited minutes with the second unit he is trying WAY to hard to create and it just “aint workin.”

    I would like to get the Machine back for the playoffs the one that dropped 20 in a finals game.

  10. 9-I think the only real way Sasha gets PT with the starters is if Phil plays Kobe at SF. This probably would mean less Walton, and I’m not sure Phil wants less Walton

  11. 10-not only walton, but also ariza, if sasha playing with the starters, we lose on defense

  12. 11-I’m assuming Ariza gets the same minutes he normally does. And I agree with Shawww and I think Snoopy has made the point too that an efficient machine changes the dynamic of our offense and spreads the floor. Also, his defense isn’t terrible. I just think Phil likes Walton too much to cut his minutes and play Kobe at SF, so I don’t know how Sasha gets more PT with the starters.

    Absent that time with the starters (and him actually producing in those minutes) we can only hope that he scales back the bad catch and fade left 20 footers and can provide a quick spark off the bench in the playoffs, especially in the 2nd quarter.

  13. The lakers have played the Kings three or four times in the last 10 years or so on my birthday and lost each game. Today is my birthday.

    However, I am not in despair. I say it is the curse breaking game (just like a few weeks back after the seven year drought at the Palace).

  14. I, for one, am extremely happy to see Salmons go. Always seemed like he would play Kobe tough on D, but on offense would drop 20+ a night because Kobe roamed off him due to a lack of disrespect to his game.

  15. Jane, Happy 21st :-)

  16. I understand the whole Walton and Phils love affair. But last year we had Walton and Sasha still got PT. Can’t you also substitute Vlad Rads starting minutes last year when Ariza wasn’t playing with Ariza’s starting minutes and no Vlad Rad.

    I just feel an effective outside threat operating at some point with the starters opens everything up (Kobe driving lanes, etc.)

  17. To add on to my train of thought. I really feel that Sasha’s game/confidence would benefit from a game where he get some open looks. I feel Phil can solve this with the starters minus Ariza.

    The limited run Sasha is getting with the second unit it seems like Phil is asking him to create for others when I feel that is the total opposite of his game. To often this year Sasha is trying to create off the dribble and shooting runners in the lane. I miss the days last year when he could just camp out at the short corner three and launch away. :(

  18. Shooting a running 17 footer veering to the left is the Machine patented shot this season.

  19. Happy birthday, Jane.

    Also, if you follow the link to Sactown Royalty and scroll down a little you’ll find an amazing 10-minute video of Ricky Rubio highlights (direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSBLKrZCkeU&eurl).

    If you do enjoy a PG who is amazing at creating (not only just recognizing) passing angles, please watch it. Great plays, nice music, 10 minutes well spent. And if you don’t enjoy a PG who does that well, Magic would like to have a word with you…

    If only there was a way to circumvent the draft rules and have Pau pull some strings to get Rubio!

  20. Has anyone seen any updates on fish’s foot? I read an article that said he was not going to get further tests done and that he was going to try to push through it? Is this something to be concerned about?

  21. 18-Dude needs to eliminate that shot from his repetoire.

  22. Wonder how big a deal home court really is. Won’t be surprised to learn that it’s only a big deal for the millionaires who otherwise can’t muster consistent effort… which probably is just about everyone not named Kobe or KG, to a certain extent.

    Anyway, my worries and expectations for the playoffs can be summed up into one word:

    Bynum.

  23. Shaww’s points re: The Machine are dead on.

    I said this yesterday… If 18 can get some run with the starters in the fourth quarter, and he can shoot well enough to earn the ability to keep playing in crunch time, it opens up a whole new dynamic for the Lakers.

    Teams will play off of Luke because he’s not a scorer, and if they flood the middle it tempts him to shoot outside, which isn’t what the Lakers want. Same with Trevor of late.

    But sag into the lane with Sasha on his game and your deficit will increase in three-point increments pretty quickly. L.A. needs that outside threat late to open the late for Kobe and Pau.

    I also like the idea of letting 18 close out games because it gets Trevor more run with the bench guys, and I think he’d do well running with Farmar and Odom rather than in a half-court set with Kobe, Fish and Pau, especially since he’s not confident shooting of late.

    Trevor’s a better defender, but it’s not a huge drop off with Sasha. (Recall that it was Trevor whom Igudala popped that game-winner on a few weeks ago.)

    The closer Phil can get to matching the rotations we saw early in the season – replacing Vladi with Luke, of course – the better off the Lakers will be.

  24. Ziller’s great, no doubt, but I’ve recently been impressed by the guy over at 48 Minutes of Hell, I think his name is Graydon or something. Fantastic writer.

    Kelly Dwyer’s got a strange article up on Ball Don’t Lie, a review of the season. It’s interesting but written strangely, like a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing. Good stuff though.

    I agree on all the Sasha talk. More Sasha, please. It’s too hard to find him minutes at the 2 and 3. The only possible option I see is giving him Farmar’s minutes. Which theoretically isn’t a bad thing. But even as little as the triangle requires, Sasha’s PG skills are so low that sometimes he can actually disrupt our offensive flow at the 1. But it’s something I’d at least like to see tried tonight.

    Sasha with Kobe, Lamar, and Pau out there (plus Ariza) is on paper our strongest current lineup. With the other 3 guys out there, I think they can keep the offense running fairly smoothly to cover up Sasha’s deficiencies. Phil likes big guards defensively, having Sasha and Ariza lock down opposing PGs would be fun to watch.

  25. Also some amazing work being done in the Middle East by PeacePlayers, still in its infant stages but making progress:

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-39-41/PeacePlayers–The-Tournament.html?post=true

  26. Thanks Kurt & Kaifa. I’m 31 & not afraid to admit it. I got Joel’s cake (with my name), a country club laker party & courtside playoff tickets last year for the big birthday…I will settle for a win this year!

    What are the odds we actually see Drew against Memphis on Sun or the Jazz next Tues?

  27. Gosh… what can’t this Ricky Kid do?
    Hope he goes to the draft this year and the lakers can swap him with Sun Yue. =]

  28. 20. Drew, Fish said his foot felt a lot better that night, and while he took Monday off just to rest it that this was not something that really bothering him.

  29. Kaifa,
    I’m sure whovever gets the second pick in the Draft would be happy to swap that pick for Bynum. :)

    Watched a few Kings games recently and they can score-and score big. They just play no recognizable defense at all.
    I really expect the Lakers to have 100 by end of 3Q.
    Channeling my inner psychic-Lakers win 124-112.

  30. Graydon Gordian. He also used to write the Hustle Junkie segment on Hardwood Paroxysm before it joined the TrueHoop Network.

    He’s good. He’s also a realist, who writes about the Spurs rationally. Not some homer trash talking name caller like Jazz bloggers.

  31. Interesting interview where Joakim Noah admits he gets tired of basketball. Can you ever imagine Michael or Kobe feeling that? Maybe they do, but I’d bet against it:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/03/joakim_noah_on_boys_boredom_an.html

    One thing I liked, though:

    “Do you ever think it’s silly at all, that what you do for a living is try to put a ball in a basket?
    Do I think it’s silly? Yeah, I think it’s overrated, because people make a big deal out of it.”

    Kind of true. As much as I love basketball, sports are way too glorified in our culture, IMO. Makes me glad sometimes I didn’t go to a D1 school and get caught up in the insanity.

  32. Mickael Gelabale is ballin’ against the Utah. Most of his 14 points is come from just pure hustle.

    Maurice Almond playing the D-League is a travesty and the Jazz should be ashame of themselves.

  33. any links for the game?

  34. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS.

  35. Will the Kings hit 40 this quarter?

  36. i wonder if well see any defence in this game

  37. if the KINGs are this hot why the helll do they not play like this every night

  38. Kings shooting 86.7% eFG% so far.

  39. Maybe we’re trying to lull the Cavs/Celts/Magic into a false sense of security? Happy thoughts…?

  40. That eFG% is a good thing because the Kings won’t be able to sustain it for long. lol.

  41. true^ hahahaha it just died.

  42. Some of it is lackadaisical defense, but the Kings are making a lot of difficult shots. Case in point: those last 2 post moves by Hawes and Thompson.

  43. …and that last fadeaway by Jackson.

  44. any links….?

  45. how on earth is it possible for a point guard to shoot 59% from the three throw line, thats worse than shaq

  46. Again – the enigma of Farmar. Canning the nice pullup three on one possession down, then the next possession recklessly penetrating the lane and throwing up a highly contested brick.

  47. lol, when Farmar feels like he gets it going such as getting to the foul line and making a three, he forces it to the basket on the very next possession. At least he isn’t lacking confidence.

  48. Reminds me of Bruce Bowen, good 3 point shooter, but cant shoot free throws.

  49. ah yes, Dick Bavetta strikes again. Thanks, Dick!

  50. One of the three blind mice shows up. Horrible call on that blocking foul.

  51. Terrible call. Not sure how they missed that one.

  52. That blocking call was so bogus even the Kings commentators couldn’t deny it.

    Did I just see Shannon Brown knock down a 3? Be still my beating heart…

  53. Anyone else notice Hawes has that punchable Mihm red cheek thing going on? It betrays weakness.

  54. I wonder how much of Shannon coming in when he did there was Shannon and how much of it was Farmar.

  55. Wow, Powell with the jump hook. We’re seeing lots of rare sights this game.

  56. Wow I’ve never seen resumes of celebrities posted onscreen during NBA games. This is how desperate the Kings are to get fan attention.

  57. wow, luke’s been great so far

  58. I thought a turning point this quarter was when the bench was in + Lamar against the Sacto zone. The bench looked cold and tentative, just passing the ball around the perimeter. In that leadership vacuum, Lamar stepped up, took on the scoring burden, and attacked the rim and got to the line. That really seemed to settle down the bench and we’ve had the upper hand since.

  59. Yea, same story. The Lakers will build a huge double digit lead and then will probably let the kings back in the game lol.

  60. Wiseolgoat – I think that its more about Farmar than Shannon. Farmar made two good plays before forcing the issue, and I guess Jackson is trying to send a message to him.

  61. Well the Kings didn’t get to 40 in the first, but the Lakers did in the second.

    Shannon Brown is doing a very solid job at both ends.

  62. The lakers got the big lead, now hopefully they can hold onto it.

  63. Shannon Brown and Luke Walton lead Lakers to 20-4 run. Never thought I’d say that.

  64. Highest +/- from our bench:

    Luke Walton: +20
    Shannon Brown: +16

  65. Hopefully we jump on them again right out of the locker room and make the lead so big even the bench can’t squander it away.

  66. it’ll be interesting to see Shannon vs. Jordan’s stats at the end of the game, especially +/-, given this is the first game I can remember where shannon’s actually getting minutes.
    I for one am rooting for Shannon, Jordan’s ego despite his variable play is starting to get to me. 59% FT shooting for the season? What?
    It’s growing more obvious Jordan will not become the point guard we hoped he would-there was a time at the beginning of the season when many hoped he would be able to take fisher’s starting spot. Is developing Shannon the answer?

  67. Can Shannon Brown be our starting point guard? He’s been awesome!

  68. I love how the Lakers are trying to use their telekinetic powers to stop Garcia from hitting those jumpers. How about actually contesting the shot instead?

  69. 69 – In their defense, it works quite well for Jean Gray.

    I haven’t been watching, but it sounds like Brown is doing amazing. That’s great news, maybe giving him a little confidence in the system heading into the playoffs.

  70. Gerrit – Shannon Brown is a good back up guard. His jumpshot is too inconsistent and his dribbling ability needs work. He’s only 23 so its possible for him to improve and reach his potential.

  71. Remember people that Brown is very, very raw. He has unbelievable hops for a 6′ 4” guard, but his jumpshot (he jacks up way too many shots) needs work and his ballhandling and decision making need work too. All the physical tools are there too. If we can keep him for the minimum, I wouldn’t mind doing so. He might benefit from some D-League play also.

  72. An interesting wrinkle that the team has been using on offense is initiating the offense on the weakside with an empty post. Then they’re setting a screen for a wing man (Ariza, Luke, Kobe) to curl into the lane and get an easy look. It’s worked several times in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and Sacramento has not had an answer for it. I really like using some of the alternative initiations of the Triangle.

  73. Phil wants to play the starters the whole quarter and leave the subs in for the 4th. Who does he go to, Brown or Jordan?

  74. HORRIBLE end to the quarter.

  75. 74 – Both? With Sasha thrown in? Sort of like a battle royale, see who is the most productive?

    In all seriousness, I’d like to see both get some PT if possible. We may risk giving up the lead, but any PT/chance to break out of a slump exists, we should take it.

  76. Kwame,
    I think he goes with Farmar to start and then brings in Brown when Farmar makes one or two bad mistakes that lead to Kings buckets.

  77. Machhhhhine. Just stand there and shoot the ball brotha.

  78. That’s the Sasha I remember.

  79. See Sasha? You shoot threes a lot more accurately when 1) your feet are set 2) you’re wide open.

  80. Great play from the bench to start the quarter. I like the offense being initiated by Farmar on the weakside like Darius referred to. They’re pushing the pace and really cutting the Kings to pieces in pseudo-transition.

  81. That was a good ball rotation by Jordan too. He didn’t hesitate at all and delivered the pass right on the money so Sasha could just catch and shoot with no adjustments upon receiving the ball.

  82. Has Luke Walton done anything wrong tonight?

  83. we want shannon, we want shannon

  84. Donte Green is huge for a 2.

    Pau’s left hooks are devastatingly efficient.

    Luke really doing good Luke.

    Jordan shoots too much for a PG

  85. Pau going to the left a lot tonight. Every time I see him make that left handed hook I’m amazed. He is so skilled.

  86. Machine is back.

  87. Will Kobe come back in?

  88. joel…i was just going to say the same thing…luke is having an incredible game

  89. Wow… Somebody finetuned the Machine before this game.

  90. pau is awesome, but when does he rest? he plays with the starters, he plays with the 2nd unit. when he sits down, does he call plays too?

  91. Were we not (me, Shawww, Snoopy2006, others) just hoping for Sasha to play like he is today. This will boost his confidence.

  92. da machine!!!

  93. time for banging mbanga

  94. Why is pau still in???

  95. Mbenga’s jump-hook is uglier than Sam Cassell.

  96. No Mbenga, no jump hooks!

  97. Mbenga time.

  98. BCR – That jump hook had bad intentions.

  99. Man that “When Amazing Happens” commercial featuring Wade absolutely running over McDyess and getting the blocking call doesn’t really help the refs’ cause…

  100. Look at Walton in the box score, +32?!?!?

  101. Has Luke Walton done anything wrong tonight?

    he missed a free throw:)

  102. The Dude Abides April 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I think I see a crack on the glass from DJ’s last jump hook. His turnaround bank shot, even when it misses, looks pretty decent. And Sasha with the dunk off DJ’s sweet pass!

  103. Oh my goodness, Sasha!!!!

  104. Machine can dunk.

  105. It must be the shoes!!!

  106. i loveeeee it when the teamm is all in to it and everyones laughing hahahaahahahah

  107. Vujacic posterizes my goodness.. i think this game was an official slump buster

  108. Sasha can dunk? Did that really happen?

  109. Kurt…I find it all too ironic that you linked the the ‘Dunk Like Machine’ video for tonights game

  110. sasha?!?!

    still can’t believe what I saw. not only maybe one of the rare times I have ever seen him dunk, but something like THAT?? forget the fact his shooting touch was on tonight, that dunk right there alone deserves himself 30+ mins for the rest of the regular season. no mater what. wow.

  111. The bench won the game when they pushed the ball in transition and got it into Gasol deep in the lane on a number of possessions. Luke really should’ve had at least 10 assists; Pau blew some easy ones and Powell missed a jumper and a dunk. Overall, it’s good to see them push the pace again. They got a lot of easy buckets, so they were in turn able to set the defense, which led to missed shot for the Kings, which led to more easy buckets.

    Good, solid win.

  112. The Dude Abides April 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    That dunk by Sasha was right in Thompson’s and Nocioni’s faces, I believe. Total posterization. And, we finally get to play a good team (Denver) on Thursday when THEY are on the second night of a back to back. Of course, we have to play in Portland the next night. Our escape against the Clips was the first game in TWO MONTHS when our opponent was on the second night of a back to back.

  113. Bench played well tonight. I want to curve my enthusiasm somewhat because well it WAS the Kings. If the bench can play like this Thursday night that will be great step into the playoffs.

    Machine with the nasty throw down. Luke excellent passing and FINALLY hitting those open shots. Farmar…1-8 bleh.

    Big game Thursday boys.

  114. If you post a link to a Sasha Dunk Like Machine video in every preview he may just dunk on someone in every game

  115. Sasha! THAT got the fans off their feet at Staples Center North.

  116. The Dude Abides April 7, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    113. Actually, that dunk was over 6-9 Cedric Simmons and 6-7 Fernando Garcia. Still, pretty impressive. “I’ve seen it all. Sasha dunked on somebody. I’m ready to retire now,” Bryant said.

  117. The Dude Abides April 8, 2009 at 4:14 am

    Just woke up and can’t get back to sleep. Here’s a clip from the very first game of the Laker 1979-80 season, against the Clippers. Kareem with the game-winning sky hook, and Magic with the hug. You can even watch it in HQ!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLzKKIyfrkQ

  118. Hey

    Have you guys watched this Hightlight Mix about Bynum.
    It’s mostly last season but I think it’s very, very good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9efsJwJxYEk

  119. Like I said before, I am liking Farmar’s game less and less as the season progresses. I think this all stems back to his pre-injury woes where he complained about not knowing his role or not getting the type of touches that he should. After he came back, he has had a lot of trouble being consistent. He would likely say it’s because his role is “undifined”, however, the way i see it its because of his poor decision making. For example, there have been plenty of games when Pau has been red-hot, yet rather than passing to him, Farmar will try to make things happen himself. When this doesnt happen, his confidence/ego go south and he becomes a horrible liability.

    I think he has become disillusioned with his role in Phil’s system and, frankly, if Phil sings an extension for 2 years, I suspect Farmar will ask for a trade at some point next season. He will want more playing time, more points and more looks on the last year of his contract and he is not going to get that on a Kobe-Bynum-Gasol-Ariza (and hopefully Lamar) Laker team – especially if Phil is the coach.

  120. Machine not care for regard for silly human life. Machine throw down on silly Queen baby players.

  121. Dude, that was a great moment for Kareem in Magic’s first year. Yeah, we FB&G people do not have anything else to think about in the wee hours of the morning, do we.

  122. RE: 120

    Couldn’t agree more. Essentially, the entire Laker team played well last night EXCEPT Farmar. The Laker run started when Brown was inserted for Farmar after one of Farmar’s “take a bad shot on one end, give up an easy shot on the other” sequences, aka “The Farmar Special.”

    He’s really hurting the team out there. It’s one thing to look for your own offense when you can actually score, but Farmar can’t throw the ball in the ocean right now.

    Brown should be getting Farmar’s minutes.

  123. The best part of Sasha’s dunk was the celebration by his teammates. Everyone was up laughing, cheering, and genuinely excited. Oh, and Garcia getting put on his butt.

    I just have to see a Machine video about this.

  124. The Dude Abides,

    I remember watching that game, at about 1 AM. I was going to college on the east coast; the game was (surprisingly) televised there. What a great start to the season!

  125. MannyP13 & Chris – Farmar made one mistake last night and that happened in the first half. I know Farmar is everyone’s punching bag but lets give him some credit. He did play well last night. His only ‘meaningful’ mistake was being too aggressive, taking the ball to the rim when he didn’t anything, instead of running the offense. Two possessions prior, Farmar went to foul line, hit 1of 2 and hit a three pointer, respectively. He got a little too confident. On the very next timeout, Phil got him out of the game and inserted Shannon Brown. Farmar played well in the 4th quarter last night. So lets give him credit.

  126. I think Brown would get Farmars minutes if Brown started the season with the Lakers. We see how hard it is for superstars to integrate to a new team, I can’t imagine it would be any easier for a bench PG.

    I think Erik from Hoopworld said that he has “heard” that people within the Lakeshow organization are disappointed in both Farmar’s play and attitude. Will be interesting to see what the team does with him next year.

  127. Shaww,

    It’s very plausible that Brown could get Farmar’s minutes. Phil has given Brown decent minutes in two straight games now, with some starters on the floor. Plus, we have the versatility to have LO or Sasha bring the ball up. We don’t use the PG position in the traditional sense, and we were quite fine when Farmar is out, so giving Brown Farmar’s minutes, especially if Shannon keeps effectively using his athleticism to play defense. The way Jordan is playing, it could be addition by subtraction.

    Do you remember in 06/07 when Farmar replaced Smush as the starter heading into the Playoffs? Phil can and will do it again. Only this time, there’s less on the line in regards to the role.

    I believe PJ will continue to give Brown some minutes to possible prepare him, and ultimately make a decision on Farmar once Bynum is back for a few games.

    It’s not just garbage time minutes for Shannon. Adam Morrison isn’t playing in the 2nd Quarter.

  128. 128-To add to your point, Phil didn’t use Ty Lue that much either before giving him some minutes against Philly in the Finals back in ’01. I think Brown’s minutes in the playoff will depend on 1) Farmar’s play, 2) Brown’s play and 3) the matchup (I think Brown would get minutes against a D-Will, see last year’s playoffs for my reasoning)

  129. the espn updates i get sent to my cell phone tell me that Chris Broussard is reporting Bynum will play tomorrow.

  130. The Dude Abides April 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    130. Here’s the story link to Drew’s return:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4053471

  131. chris in nola April 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Bynum to be activated for tomorrow.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4053471

  132. Oh shoot! And should we start a petition to have him sit out the Memphis game on Sunday?

  133. 133

    ill sign that brother..

  134. Saweet… AB is back. No matter how well he plays, though, I would rather he sit against Memphis next week. I’m just sayin’…

    And I’m still in awe over the posterization performed by the Machine last night. I had to rewind that play and watch it at least 5 times before I was absolutely convinced that he actually completed the dunk because he flushed it so fast. And the bench reaction was too funny. Even funnier was right after the game ended when Sasha headed back to the bench area he was mobbed by Farmar and Kobe who were clearly teasing him about the dunk. Sasha looked slightly embarassed, but in a good way. :)

  135. guys, exciting news bynum will play tomorrow and start!! !!!

    also a statement game tomorrow

  136. Put me down for Bynum to sit out against Memphis too. It’s all too weird and I rather not take any chances this late no matter how superstituous it is.

  137. I’m going to the game tomorrow, so excited to welcome Andrew back.

  138. New post up where we can discuss Bynum’s return.