For the second straight season, the Lakers finished the regular season in Sacramento. Last year, it was potentially the last game in Arco Arena Power Balance Arena with the team potentially moving to Anaheim. This time around was trillions time less dramatic as Mike Brown sat his starting five and played a nine-man rotation that featured six guys who has had at least one stint in the D-League.
Suffice to say, the 113-96 victory for the Kings doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, and I really won’t spend much time dissecting the most pointless game of the year for the Lakers.
Coming in, Kobe was 38 points away from passing Kevin Durant for the scoring title. While I have no qualms with Brown sitting the Kobster, it certainly took any intrigue out of a game that ended with little to none. Darius mentioned in the preview that tonight might be a good time to catch the young guys considering many of them probably won’t see much playing time until either the Summer League or next year’s Pre Season.
- Darius Morris came in the first half and seemed confident pushing the ball at every opportunity. When he did get a bit of playing time at the beginning of the season, he was tentative in half court sets and often indecisive with his dribble. Tonight, he seemed a little more comfortable in transition and recorded nine points and five assists.
- With Kobe gone, Andrew Goudelock took it upon himself to make sure that someone was on the floor to take some ill-advised shots. With nothing at stake, Goudelock decided that it would be his night to see if he could get hot and record a career high. Neither happened, he was four-for-12 with 11 points.
- Jordan Hill had a decent night on the boards (8), but wasn’t exactly stellar on the offensive end (also four-for-12) and missed a couple bunnies around the rim.
- Devin Ebanks had one of the better shooting nights of the young guys (seven-for-11) and scored 14 points to go along with five rebounds. He didn’t do anything we haven’t seen him do over the course of the last couple of years, but he did well with the added responsibility without any of the starters playing tonight.
Both Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts both played decent (a combined 28 points and 16 rebounds), which would be fantastic if their numbers were coupled with good games from Kobe, Pau and Bynum as well. But with those two being your two best players on any given night, you’re going to lose by 15+ points. Ramon Sessions started off slow, (three turnovers within the first seven minutes of the game), but picked things up as the game continued and didn’t turn the ball over in the final three quarters.
Josh McRoberts caught a nice alley-oop dunk from Steve Blake. Terrance Williams threw down a hard dunk over Jordan Hill. And Tyreke Evans had a nasty spin move around Goudelock that reminded me of the spin move he gave Ron Artest a couple years ago. But outside of that, there really wasn’t much to talk about or take away from tonight’s game. Tomorrow, we’ll begin to look forward to the Lakers 1st round match up with the Denver Nuggets.