Note: This was supposed to post on Friday but apparently Blogger had other ideas. Here it is a day late, but be sure to read the Hoopsworld article linked in the first paragraph.
First, Eric Pincus has started looking forward to the lottery and the rest of the off-season in his new article on Hoopsworld. Good stuff, save that I think he gets to talking coaches too late. Who the Lakers draft/trade for/ bring in needs to fit with the coaching style of whomever gets hired. That is still priority one..
As for tonightâ€™s game, you could put together a good starting five out of guys on the IR or not playing tonight for these two teams: Chris Mihm at center, Vladimir Radmanovic at the four, Lamar Odom at the three Rashard Lewis at the two and Antonio Daniels at point. Yes, Vlad/Lamar/Rashard are all basically threes with much the same length and style of game, but you could come up with a good offense to showcase them.
Of the players that are healthy, the Lakers will have one key task tonight â€” Keep Reggie Evans off the glass. Thatâ€™s going to be a challenge with the Lakers two best rebounders, Odom and Mihm, watching from the sidelines.
Evansâ€™ rebound rate this season is 24.3, meaning when he is on the floor he is grabbing 24.3% of the available rebounds. He gets one out of every four missed shots, which is incredible. Second in the NBA right now is Dan Gadzuric at 21.8 (he is a free agent this summer, by the way). John Hollinger did an entire story about this on ESPN.com â€” the only person to put up the kind of numbers Evans has this season is Dennis Rodman at his peak.
With Lewis and Daniels not playing for Seattle tonight, more pressure will fall on Ray â€œIâ€™m in a contract yearâ€ Allen. Kobe, hobbled or not, needs to shut him down if the Lakers are going to win the battle of the MASH units.
Seattle remains the third most efficient offense in the NBA, averaging 108.3 (points per 100 possessions). By the way, the Lakers have fallen to ninth in the league with 104.5 (they havenâ€™t fallen much, but as happens every year, other teams are getting better at scoring as the season goes on).
What has kept the Lakers out of the playoffs will be Seattleâ€™s biggest problem in it â€” defense. Seattle is 24th in the league giving up 105.3. The Lakers are 28th at 107.2.
One thing Iâ€™d like to see is more Sahsa. He got just 7 minutes in the loss to Houston. I thought we were trying to get a look at this guy?