But there are a couple of notes in the wake of the Lakers last preseason game — the ugly loss at the Forum to Golden State — that are encouraging.
One is that after that performance they held a team meeting to talk about it and make sure they don’t lay an egg like that again. For a preseason game. Also, every report coming out of practices is that things are very competitive — the guys are banging and working, not just going through the motions. Kobe and Artest have commented on this.
These are good signs — complacency may be the Lakers biggest weakness this year. This team has a tendency to coast, and winning a title could make that worse. But it appears that the team — with its veterans leading the way — is not going to allow that to happen. There is still a hunger and it is evident in preseason. This in no way means we should suddenly expect a Lakers squad focused every minute of every night, but it may mean that the team is not going to get too fat and happy.
As for tonight, it doesn’t matter who owns a hotel in town this should pretty much be a home crowd for the Lakers against the Kings. Remember, they played a 1992 playoff game at the Thomas & Mack (moved due to the riots) and you basically get all the Lakers home games televised there. Vegas is a Lakers town.
By the way, no Gasol or Walton expected to play tonight, although both are minor injuries that would not have kept them out of a regular season game. No reason to worry. Remember, 7 p.m. start, Chanel 9 here in LA and radio 710 ESPN here.
You can toggle between this and the Dodgers winning game one.
On a separate note, rather than open that Netflix envelope this weekend, try watching the Sonicsgate movie online. The fans in that city got screwed — by the team owners (old and new) and the politicians there to represent them. The fans were virtually powerless, and that was sad.