Preview and Chat: The Sacramento Kings

Darius Soriano —  April 26, 2012

UPDATE: Per Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, Mike Brown has ruled Kobe out of this game. So, no worries about a scoring title tonight. Andrew Goudelock fans rejoice as he’ll likely start in Kobe’s place.

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The end of the regular season is finally here. Through all the ups and downs, the Lakers will take the floor for the 66th time since Christmas and close out there season in a game that, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t have any real value. They’re locked into the the 3rd seed in the conference, have won the Pacific Division, and already know that they won’t play again until Sunday when they’ll either see the Mavs or the Nuggets visit staples for game 1 of the playoffs.

So, with today’s game losing a lot of its value, there are only a few things left that need be mentioned. Here are some of them as we look towards tonight:

*Who exactly will play and who will rest? Early reports have every starter potentially resting. Bynum and Pau are almost sure bets to get the night off and Sessions (who still has a nagging finger issue) will likely join them. With Ron suspended and Barnes not even making the trip, that only leaves one other starter to wonder about – Kobe. I’m hearing mixed reports on Bean. The latest I’ve heard is that he’ll go through his normal pre-game routine and will make his decision after that.

Why would Kobe play at all? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. One is that there’s a scoring title up for grabs. Kobe needs 38 points to clinch the league lead and that’s a number he could get with some efficient shooting. And, when combined with the lack of proven scoring punch he’d be flanked by, he’d also probably need to put up the requisite shots to give his team a chance to win the game. Another reason is that he’s missed some games lately and getting in some more game action could provide him a chance to build a rhythm going into Sunday. Personally, I don’t mind him playing but hope that he doesn’t rack up too many minutes in the process. If he can get about 25 minutes of good run in this game, I’ll be happy but anything beyond that may be stretching it. And if he can get the points he needs to pass Durant in the process more power to him. (As an aside, there are some that would rather Kobe just go for the scoring title. I can understand that side too, I’m just not fully on board there.)

*How do the young guys play? If the players who are suspected to sit actually do, every other available Laker will get some run tonight. That means extended minutes for Morris, Goudelock, Hill, and Eyenga (who was called up from the D-League yesterday). Only Hill looks to be someone who will have a role in the playoffs so for these other guys, this may be the last game action (in non blowout situations) they see the rest of the season. So, I’m interested in seeing how they do. Will Morris be more decisive off the dribble? Will Goudelock defend better than he had been before he lost his rotation spot? Can Eyenga do more than dunk? I’m looking for effort, composure, and a desire to play the right way from these guys. I’m looking for progress from where they were earlier in the year. Again, this game could be the last time we see them and any hints at where they are now will be information to be tucked away before Summer League.

*How close are the Kings to becoming a team that can compete? For a team that’s not close to sniffing the playoffs this season, the Kings actually do have a fair amount of talent. Cousins, Evans, and Thornton are all very capable players that can impact the game in a variety of ways. Rookie Isaiah Thomas was the 60th pick in the draft but has been one of the better rookies all season, proving nightly that his speed and playmaking should have had him drafted much earlier than he was. And Jason Thompson continues to be a solid, if unspectacular, big man that can score and rebound well. That’s 5 good, young players at their disposal but it will obviously take more than that. Tonight’s game may not have a lot of meaning and may not provide a lot of big picture answers for the future, but young teams must learn to grow and play together. And tonight does give them one last crack at that for this season.

*Who will my Cowboys draft in the first round of the NFL draft tonight? Okay, that was just a test to see if you were still reading.

*What are the keys to actually winning this game? I know the game doesn’t have a lot of meaning, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the W. So, to get the win, a few keys are…

-Tempo. The Lakers must slow the Kings in transition and that starts with Thomas, Evans, and Thornton. All three love to get out in the open court and the Lakers must ensure that they get back on D, slow down the ball, and then protect the rim. This will take a team effort as the wings will have to build a wall against the advancing ball and the bigs will need to sprint back to make sure that they can challenge shots should the first line of defense be broken.

Keeping them out of transition is, of course, also a priority. The Lakers must take care of the ball on offense and make sure their sets leave them with a balanced floor so transitioning back on D is easier. If the Lakers get careless in either area, the Kings will run out and pressure their D while getting more than their fair share of easy baskets.

-Rebounding. Demarcus Cousins is one of the best offensive rebounding bigs in the league. He’s relentless on the glass and will try to muscle Hill, McRoberts, and Murphy for the ball and subsequent second chance points. He must be boxed out on every possession with the other big man and the wings coming in to clean up the glass. If the Lakers can close defensive possessions with rebounds by limiting the Kings to one shot, they’ll be in good position to win.

-P&R D. Thomas will pressure the D in the P&R and he mustn’t be allowed to easily turn the corner and get to spots on the floor where he can be dangerous. He’s very capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers and can also hit little floaters when he gets into the paint. The Lakers bigs must hedge hard, slow down his dribble, and keep him deep on the wing where he’ll have to shoot long jumpers over a contesting defense.

-Someone besides Kobe will need to hit shots. Be it Blake, Murphy, McRoberts, or Goudelock, someone will need to give Kobe the support he needs on offense to keep the Lakers in it. If they can all chip in, it will also provide the needed spacing for Kobe to work in the post and to get to the mid-range area where he can do some damage efficiently.

In the end, this game may not mean much but they’re playing it anyway. A win would be nice. So would a scoring title for Kobe. But mostly, I just want an injury free game where guys get home healthy and ready to go on Sunday. The second season is about to start and I don’t want anything to disrupt that.

Where you can watch: 7:30PM start on KCAL. Also listen live at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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71 responses to Preview and Chat: The Sacramento Kings

  1. Cowboys fan, eh? I’m hoping Kobe plays. The scoring title would be nice if he’s feeling it and the shots are dropping, but I’d also like to see bench guys getting some quality game time with him. Case in point is Hill, who absolutely stunned against OKC. It can only help his chances in the future, to get increasingly familiar with Kobe in actual game situations.

  2. Here is a good article on Bynum taking his game to his rare level…

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7853124/los-angeles-lakers-andrew-bynum-jumped-good-elite

    Kobe isn’t going to get any more rhythm from a game against the Kings playing with our third stringers. That’s just silly. No offense. His rythm looked more than fine against tw Spurs and OKC. He will maintain a better rythm playing with his fellow starters in practice. The rythm thing is just silly. How many games did the 2001 Lakers lose in the playoffs? They swept everyone and had a week off before every series. They kept their rhythm just fine ;)  

  3. I’m so confused as to why Jordan Hill “surprised so many people”. He has been a good player his entire young career. His PER every season didn’t happen by accident. He was the ninth pick a few seasons ago for a reason. This isn’t a Shannon Brown. This is a top pick who has played well his entire three seasons in the league. Why is everyone shocked or questioning if Hill can continue to be a contributor? I am so confused here. He will continue to do exactly what he has done his entire career. Btw… A career that is young and will probably get better. Will he put up 15 and 14 every game like Sunday? Of course not. But he will continue to be a good bench player just like he has been his entire three year career. Who are these people that are suprised? And I want to know why? Because there is no basketball outside of LA? People were suprised Sessions was so good. Again… Why? He has done this his entire career when he has started. Too many Lakers fans live in a bubble.

  4. Brought Over From The Last Thread:

    Given Kobe’s status, there’s nothing that Coach Mike Brown will or can do to stop him from attempting to win that scoring title. It’s on Kobe whether he chooses to play tonight and chase it .. And hopefully, being that he’ll only be playing 2 games this week (with 2 days off before our 1st playoff game), he’ll lace ‘em up & capture that title .. But once again, it’ll be solely up to him.

  5. Kobe has just been ruled out by Mike Brown, per Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

  6. I feel cheated….i want my money back

  7. I think the only people who were surprised by Sessions and/or Hill are those who don’t really follow the NBA as a whole. I think you’d be hard pressed to find many on this blog that were surprised by either. The only thing that surprised me regarding Hill was how long it took Brown to give him meaningful minutes, although that could have been largely due to Hill’s knee injury. By the numbers and by the eye test, Hill should have been our first big off of the bench from day one.

    Aaron, perhaps your “surprise” question would be better suited for somewhere like the LA Times blog comment section; most of us here knew what we were getting with both Sessions and Hill =)

  8. Is nobody talking about why Bynum isn’t getting his knee lubricant injection before the playoffs with a week off? Are they waiting for the West Finals?

  9. Even though, selfishly, I wanted Kobe to go on ahead and win it, I understand his reasoning for shutting it down. Bigger Picture.

  10. Surprises:
    Sessions: I am not surprised, but for a different reason than you are implying. He has not really shown me that much. He is better than Fish on offense, but does nothing on defense to this point, so I am not “surprised”.
    Hill: I think everyone was surprised by the one game. I “will” be surprised, + would like to be surprised if he keeps that up – we will see.
    We are talking about guys who could not start for teams (multiple in Sessions case) teams that are not playoff bound, so let’s not “yet” talk about them like saviors.

  11. paraphrasing reporter sam amick–laker starting line-up: sessions, blake, possibly eyenga, mcroberts, hill.

  12. @Aaron – I can’t speak for anyone else, but here’s the context for my sentence, reading “Case in point is Hill, who absolutely stunned against OKC”. Jordan Hill has averaged 14 minutes and 5 ppg in his young career. He had played a grand total of 17 minutes for the Lakers, spread out over a good chunk of the season, before subbing in for Bynum against OKC, and playing 35 extremely productive minutes, including the entire 4th quarter and the two OTs.

    What part of “surprised” do you not get? Seriously? You equate this with living in a bubble? Nobody would have predicted how that game played out.

  13. From the previous post Aaron@78

    That Lakers team was so much better than anyone else. This team is not. PER is not all that impressive Aaron. Why do I believe that? Look at Magic Johnson’s PER. Look at Larry Bird’s PER, or Karl Malone’s as compared to some of today’s inflated PERs. Nah. PER is extremely flawed. It favors the stat-sheet stuffers and doesn’t measure some of the most important things about players, that quite frankly, can not be measured.

    Let me illustrate this Aaron if you will answer this question. Who would you take right now if you could draft between the two players; Andrew Bynum or Dwyane Wade? I’m pretty sure I know your “honest” answer. Now look at their PERs.

  14. KenOak,
    That’s easy. There are only two good centers. Howard and Bynum. There are a ton of good penetrating scoring guards. I would take the 24 year old Center over the 30 year old rapidly aging SG every time. I could get another Wade like player. There is not another Bynum like player in the NBA. As far as PERs. What are you talking about. Magic and Malone had amazing PERs. Oh. Were you saying that if they had bad PERs how would I feel about PER? The facts are that all the dominant payers had great PERs and all the bad players had bad PERs. I don’t think this is a coincidence. If I took Bynum over Wade I then could grab an average SG like Kevin Martin with a solid PER most years and not have to get an average Center like Deandre Jordan. So yes… I’ll take Bynum over Wade because in actuality that means I’m taking Martin over Deandre. Because in the end it’s not in a vacuume.

  15. KenOak,
    Btw… There is only one player I would trade Howard or Bynum for… That guys name is LeBron James.

  16. Darius:

    Is Sunday official or are you just going on the precedent that the Lakers always seem to be given the Sunday 12:30 or Sunday 3p slot?

    Also, I’m surprised there’s been so little debated ’round these parts about Den v. Dallas as a first round opponent. Personally, I prefer Den, esp since the Nene trade and doubly-especially considering MWP’s suspension. No matter how much we beat down the Mavs this regular season, there’s no real answer for when either Dirk or Terry get on a tear. Much less afraid of the same from Gallinari. A steady diet of Drew and Pau should allow us to muscle our way through in 5.

    I must say I’m kind of stunned that Kobe’s going to surrender the scoring race given that he was passed by KD in the last week of the season. I’m impressed, but surprised. Actually, quite impressed, if one factors in issues of leadership and
    ‘team-first’ values vis a vis Bynum going rogue.

  17. With no k. love denver’s bench could beat minny. den vs la is the matchup. wilson chandler, afflalo, gallo they have some athletic wings.

  18. @14 I realize you are likely trolling but it would be crazy not to trade Bynum for Durant

  19. So, here we are – end of the regular season. Third seed in the west. If someone had asked me in October, if I’d be happy with the 5/6th best record in the league, I would have said no.

    But after going through the season, given all the issues we had, I’ll say I’m ok with where we ended up.

    That being said, the real season starts in a couple of days, and I would have liked for us to enter it with a little momentum/stability, and of course, MWP in the starting 5!

    I like our team, and we have the capabiity to win it all, but are also capable of bowing out in the first round :(

  20. Best news of the day: “Kobe won’t play tonight”. Absolutely no reason for him to play. Those “fans” who were looking for Kobe to score 38 in order to win a meaningless scoring title are more into fantasy b-ball than reality ball.

    This is what I was hoping for. Have the starters sit and play the end of the bench big minutes.

  21. I’m with Sid. With the exception of the times MIchael Jordan won the scoring titles and championships, there has only been two times since 1950 where a player has won the scoring title and his team has won a championship: Kareem in ’72 and Shaq in ’00. In other words, a scoring title is bad omen.

  22. Totally agree with those who said about Hill & Sessions.

    I asked Hill’s availability before, I think it was C-dog who said that he had a knee injury during practice, the reason why Mbrown did not tap him. However, he was in uniform on the bench, why is he not playing? Another reason, the plays of Mbrown are too complicated for a newcomer to digest (sarcasm).

    There is another player that Lakers are paying a lot for the next four years, still hibernating in the D’League, that’s Christian Eyenga of Congo. Heard he’s not NBA-ready but can run & jump well. This is the type of game where Lakers could look at the ability of Eyenga, Darium Morris and G-lock.

  23. lil’ Pau,
    Yes, Sunday is set. The only question is the time slot (and the opponent, of course).

  24. No kobe tonight.

    Great for the Laker fans but not from season ticket holder in Sacramento. This is a very memorable last game for Kings fans, feeling jilted by Maloof Bros. who already agreed to stay then change their minds. Kings want to move to Anaheim. Perhaps, the Maloof Bros are encouraged by gridlock traffic along the Orange Crash, so they’re banking on the car density, rich OC residents as their target market. Why not move to a place where they have no team, Seattle, Las Vegas, Newark, NJ or Kentucky (home of the NCAA Champs)?

  25. Not good enough Aaron. Who would you take Bynum or Wade, at the beginning of their respective careers? You have said many times that you wouldn’t trade bigs for littles.

    If you say that you would take Bynum, then you prove my point, which is PER doesn’t tell the whole story. Wade’s PER is ridiculously better than Bynum’s best PER, so far.

    D-Wade’s best 4 years of PER is far above Magic’s best 4 years. Who is a better player? Magic averaged 26.5 for his best 4 years. (24.1 overall) Wade averaged 28.7 for his best 4 years and 25.7 overall.

    PER is a tool, but some around the league, and around here try to use it as ‘be all end all’ sort of thing.

    /rant off

  26. Given this is the Kings we are playing against – how much do you think we will:
    1. Score?
    2. Give up?

    My money is on GLock to be our top scorer, but I wonder if we will crack 75 pts today if Sessions doesn’t play.

  27. By the way…I’m so sad that Kobe isn’t trying for the scoring title tonight! I’m also a little happy that he is sticking by his statement when he said that the scoring title doesn’t matter to him. I’m with Aaron on the week of rest being incredibly awesome for this team.

  28. #3 – Aaron: I’m not surprised that Sessions can play on offense and I’m not surprised that he can’t play any defense. I knew that both were true when he was in Cleveland. I’m surprised that you think he’s so good when he’s so obviously a one dimensional player.

    As far as Jordan Hill is concerned, look no further than the Houston Rocket fan base that has been largely divided on this kid’s contribution.

    Some really liked him and felt that the team really struggled when with his intangibles missing in the second half. Others thought he was largely ineffective as compared to their other options.

    I like your enthusiasm regarding the upside of these players guy, but it’s not as if there aren’t some flaws and limitations.

  29. In regards to first round opponent, I’m about 95% certain that it will be Denver. Denver is a game up on Dallas, with both teams playing tonight. Dallas owns the tie-breaker between the two, but will only snatch the 6th seed if they win tonight and Denver loses. That seems very improbable considering Denver is playing at Minnesota (without Love) who have nothing to play for tonight except for ping pong balls, while Dallas is playing at Atlanta who are trying to lock in home court advantage in the first round against Boston.

    If I had to choose the opponent I would pick Denver anyways, because we have a clear advantage down low vs McGee, Mozgov, Koufos and the lack of Metta doesn’t hurt as much against Gallo, whereas he’d be more needed against VC, Marion or even Delonte if we played Dallas.

  30. Dave,
    The rockets were grading him on a starting PF debate. He was brought in to be a startig level PF even if he comes off the bench. They also needed a low post scorer. That’s why they brought him in. He wasn’t that. He was a spot up shooter and rebounder. He has played effectively everywhere he has been. He was in a sittuation in Houston similar to the one Sessions was in in cle… Where he was going to leave as a free agent in a month. Plus Hou has a cheaper and better player on their rookie contract. That kid is good. I just saw him out play Blake Griffen on both ends of the court.

    That brings me to Sessions. I never said he was a top PG. ever. He has been a giant step up and one of the better offensive PGs in the NBA shooting 48 percent and 50 on threes since coming here.

  31. Dave,
    And I hear ya. They have flaws and limitations. That’s also what I have web saying. I said Hill has not been a suitable starting PF in the league. But he has proven to be a very good back up PF. He also failed as a Center as he is too short and lean. But that’s who Hill has been since entering the NBA. Trust me… The Lakers knew they were not going from Michael Beasely to Betty Crocker ;)

  32. Jimmer and Goudelock should have a shootout tonight.

  33. Oh well, I wanted to see Kobe go for 40 tonight. I feel sad since I think a younger Kobe would’ve gone for it… but this is the old Kobe, who has to pick his spots (although he’ll probably play in London).

    The thing I’ll be watching is how Bynum acts on the bench, if he can maintain interest in the game. I don’t think this will be hard since he’s not ‘pulled out’ of the game, but there’s a chance that he’ll still be disinterested and all… which really won’t sit well with me.

  34. as for living i na bubble – Wilson Chandler has a hip injury and is out for the season – one less nuget to worry about

  35. Shawn,
    That’s another thing. Who is really asking who the lakers should want to play? Who are these people? If its your job to know NBA basketball you should be fired if you truly beleive the Lakers would have a tougher time with Denver. The Nuggets are a quality regular season roster waiting to happen. Deep. Average and deep. They are also the typical “awful” pkayoff team. They don’t have a one on one scorer. They don’t have an all star. And their second best player is out. One of their big men has a busted knee. This isn’t a discussion. Right?

  36. MannyP: Your post @22 is mostly correct : ) However there is a key Laker error and 2 Laker ommissions : ) First – Kareem (then Big Lou) did his feat in 1971. The Lakers won in 1972 – please do not cheat us out of this title : ) Second, you said since 1950. Well that happens to cut off two years where George Mikan accomplished this feat: 1949 + 1950. You should always be inclusive of Laker accomplishment : ) So in summary:

    Mikan: 49, 50, Kareem: 71, MJ: 91,92,93,96,97,98 + Shaq 2000

    So the scoring title and championship has been done 10 times – so I am not sure it is a bad omen. Especially when 3 (or 4 if you will) were done by Lakers.

    I will not hold this against you if OKC wins : )

  37. Dallas getting worked by Atl despite playing to win. Looks like Denver, so far…

  38. Can we talk about the lil brother for a second? Because i found it so odd that CP3 did not play yesterday (for health reasons) when they could have secured home court advantage for the first round against memphis. Does anyone else find that suspect? Does anyone know if CP3 is nursing a lingering pain? I mean, home court for them would have been big right, seeing as there will be a bunch of old time clippers fans being able to cheer them on strong, a whole bunch of bandwagon fans that will do the same, plus the Sportsguy’s blog to get them pumped.

    Or was that just me?

  39. Chris Paul has a groin injury he pulled it late in the game the night before.

  40. Kudos to Kobe for not playing tonight?

    Scoring title?

    He play for rings.

  41. Robert – I did say with the exception of Jordan… Frankly, it is not fair to put Jordan in that list at all because his team and himself were so dominating during that decade that he truly skews that stats. I mean, by adding Jordan one can look at that list and say:WOW, ten times it sure is not a bad omen. But, when you take the Jordan ‘statistical anomaly’ out of the equation, the list becomes terribly scary: Mikan in 50 (my bad to skip him), Kareem in 71 (21 years later) and Shaq in 2000 (29 years after Kareem). Let me put it to you another way, with Jordan’s numbers, between 1991 to 2000 the scoring champ was an NBA champ 7 out of 10 years. Statistically, based on that decade alone, we should a scoring champ should get a ring almost every year. Does that sound right to you?

    I think a better way of looking at it is the following: Mikhan did it twice in the early 50′s when he was the best player in the league by far (likely the MVP of those season). Kareem did it once in the 70′s when he was arguably the best player in the league and the same year he won the MVP. No one did it in the 80′s. Jordan did it in the 90′s when he was the best player in the league and an MVP 4 out of the 6 of those years he won titles. Shaq was the best in the league in 2000 and an (i believe) came in second in MVP voting to Iverson. So, in short, while we may see the next scoring champ+NBA champ in our lifetimes, these numbers tell me that the majority of the time the only thing a scoring champ gets to celebrate is the scoring title trophy.

    Oh, and by the way, Kareem was with the Bucs in 71 so it’s really only 2 Lakers on that list (and only one LA Laker).

  42. Today we are the Charlette Hornets. This is how live would be without Kobe.

  43. Interested to see if the Lakers play for the win or play to get their numbers.

    This season MB gave every player on the roster an opportunity to play meaningful minutes. It’ll be interesting to see which of the rookies have worked on their game since the beginning of the season.

    Hill must have another solid game…no excuses.

    Ebanks has to prove that he’ll be a viable option for minutes at small forward with MWP out.

    Most excited to see Eyenga. Why? A smarty savvy player can learn basketball skills…they can’t learn athleticism.

  44. We play Denver Sunday.

  45. Last game on KCAL channel 9 for those in Southern California. Here is an old Chick Hearn game intro.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2k8vwS1Ono&feature=youtu.be

  46. Even in a meaningless game Sessions should be the best player on the floor tonight

  47. This is hard to watch. Sessions really is bad at defense. His game has gone down faster then the Angels pennant hopes.

    Blake also looks like a old man playing with college kids.

    Sorry but the Lakers have some really bad players. Who signed these guys? Only NBA player out there is McRoberts.

    We really do have the worst bench in the NBA.

  48. Sessions has to get that chip back on his shoulder. He plays better that way.

  49. What do ya know??? And right before the playoffs? Weird timing huh?

    @LakersReporter: Mike Brown told @KevinDing that Jordan Hill has earned himself minutes as the 3rd LAL big in playoffs.

  50. Ko: I agreed with your post until you mentioned McRoberts : ) The socks alone disqualify him : )

    I think after my posts this year it would be difficult for me to disagree with your last sentence : )

  51. I have only one question?

    What time does Hardcore Pawn Shop on True TV come on tonight.

    Best show ever!

  52. From last post:

    Aaron wrote on April 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hollinger has done so much for basketball statistics. Sad some of you guys don’t appreciate him. PER to put it simply is a few giant leaps forward from PPG, RPG, BPG, SPG and FG %.

    Per minute stats are giant leaps forward from the traditional box score. All Hollinger did was to combine them with arbitrary weights to form his PER. The only point of combining all those numbers into one is so that he can claim that some center is “historically” better than some pg that played 30 yrs ago.

  53. Darius Morris has a lot of work to do in the off season.

    Eyenga has ups that block was legit.

    Man if the Lakers can keep Luke Walton for seven years they can sure give McHops another year. See if he improves his offense and defense during the off season.

    Goudelock needs to get a point guard trainer to work with him this summer.

  54. Here is the best Lakers game intro. Chick Hearn Wazzup

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFBxNCiL7cw&feature=youtu.be

  55. Re Darius Morris

    I’ve held off of judgement since he hasn’t really played much. That’s all I need. I hope we win it all and/or Steve Blake plays well… Because Morris looks like a good solid NBA PG. Not playing him over steve Blake better not be the difference between a championship and a playoff exit. He better not end up being a starting NBA PG. That’s all. And I’m afraid that’s what he is. A solid NBA starting PG. I love his size, athletisism and PG skills.

  56. Chearn@54: Are you sure you didn’t mean to put Sessions’ name where you have Goudelock and Morris? That was another pitiful display. He did outplay Blake however. Between them 2-9 for 4 pts in 40 minutes.

  57. LAL opens the playoffs Sun at 12:30 PT vs DEN on ABC. Gm 2 Tue 5/1, Gm 3 Fri 5/4, Gm 4 Sun 5/6, Gm 5 Tue 5/8, Gm 6 Thu 5/10, Gm 7 Sat 5/12.

  58. So far tonight Hill looks like a guy who ahhhhh
    played 7 minutes a game in his career.

    Very unimpressed with him tonight.

    Where is Walton and Kapono when you need them?

  59. This is why I make such a stink all the time when people always tell at me “What’s the dif between PF and Center!!??!!” Well… Jordan Hill can match up man to man with any PF in the league. But Cousins with Center type size is doing whatever he wants weight wise with Jordan. It’s not a fair fight. Different weight and height divisions.

  60. i hope greg anthony does a bunch of playoff games. he’s a very good analyst.

  61. I don’t know man… Even on that iffy offensive foul layup that kid looks good. Morris looks like a starting NBA PG in this league. And I think is obvious. Just from one real game of action I can tell. Is he a bad one or a good one? I can’t tell yet. But he is one. Make this another Aaron prediction. Mark it down.

  62. Aaron @ 60 – I hope you are right.

    Blake needs to take his talents elsewhere.

  63. Two best guys on court tonight was McRoberts and Murphy.

    Two worst guys on court tonight was Morris and Blake.

    Not good going up against Denver who has two good point guards,

  64. Of the Lakers that played here are the guys that looked like top 8 rotation NBA pkayers.

    Sessions/Morris/Ayenga/McBob

    I will note I think Ebanks can be a very good defender. I actually think he is now. He is a great defender. I just don’t think he has the coordination to ever be a NBA offensive player. But he is a fringe top 8 guy for sure.

  65. Gallinari was 13/46 in the four games, and 6/30 in the three the Lakers won.

    So, how Ebanks does on D may be a big factor in this series.

  66. McHops! McHops, played well tonight. I hope he gets with his buddy Bynum this summer and works on his game.

    Ebanks and Morris have worked on toning their bodies, now if they’d learn how to shoot.

    Eyenga is probably going to get some playing time in the playoffs. If only he were 2-3 inches taller. I know, then we wouldn’t have gotten him.

    Please MB, no 2-3 zone the rotations aren’t there.

    Sacramento:
    I still like Isiah Thomas. If the Lakers had drafted him he’d be a good tempo changing guard off the bench.

    2nd year center DeMarcus Cousin looks more mature than he did at the start of this season.

  67. So Charles Barkley just said the Lakers are going to be upset by George Klaw’s team, featuring the big frontline of McGee and Couscous. Apparently I don’t watch enough NBA.

    With Charles and Shaq already in the fold, all TNT needs to do is replace Ernie and Kenny with Avery Johnson and you get complete unintelligible nonsense. I need subtitles.

  68. Snoopy,
    I agree. They need some brilliant NBA minds to put around Charles to make him funny and not annoying. He needs to be made fun of all times. Like me and Hollinger should be out there with he and Ernie ;) I mean some seriously brilliant minds.

  69. I do think Faried will pose some matchup problems. Always seems like those high-energy undersized PFs work us over. I wouldn’t mind seeing our own high-energy backup (Hill) matched up against him, although I’m not sure Hill has the strength to deal with Faried.

    Afflalo plays Kobe as well as anyone. Lawson will cook us with his speed. Gallinari has the potential to go off at any given time. So there will definitely be some interesting matchups; I’m looking forward to this series.

  70. Lakers can’t bail out denver by making pau a jump shooter. Denver was doubling drew on the catch those last 2 games. Pau has to see the post more if that means switching him and Bynum and telling drew to get back on defense or crash the glass.