I went to the Kings blog (Sactown Royalty) to get some kind of read on what they expect to get out of Sunday’s game. Instead, I got debates concerning who to pick in the lottery ran rampant.
Now some of you may feel pity for them, but heed my words: Don’t!! As Stu Lantz would say “don’t hug or kiss them when you’ve got them on life support, don’t give them mouth-to-mouth, stab ‘em in the heart!” Just paraphrasing, of course…
Marquee Matchups -
Point Guard – Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar vs. Anthony Johnson: Johnson has never been an exceptional player, in fact he’s been a back-up most of his career, but he is slated to start on Sunday with Beno out with a back injury. The only reason I could think of that Johnson would start over Garcia is that he is an actual pass-first point guard. Our veteran should match up well with their veteran, and our youngin’ should be able to blow past him on a second night of a back-to-back for the Kings.
Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant vs. Kevin Martin: Like I said in a previous preview, comparing Kevin Martin to Kobe Bryant is like comparing the lighting in the stands to the lighting on the court of a Lakers home game… and nothing much has changed since then.
Small Forward – Vladimir Radmanovic vs. Ron Artest: Artest actually shoots the ball really well for a defensive player. How many people knew he’s averaging a career high 20 points a game, but then again he defends really well for an offensive player. Vladdy is going to have a rough time in this one, and Luke won’t fair much better. Look for a lot of Kobe at the 3 and Sasha at the 2 in this game.
Power Forward – Lamar Odom vs. Mikki Moore: Possibly the easiest match up out of the starting five. No offense to Moore, he’s got a very similar game to Turiaf, but he is too scrawny to handle Odom down-low on defense and his offensive post game lacks any sort of finesse whatsoever. If Odom continues to listen to Phil and stays in the paint this should be a very easy match-up.
brad miller and pau a tie??????? Pau is a better shooter from outside, a better passer, both aren’t great defensively, but pau is better offensively in general. Pau definitely has the advantage in this match up.
The Kings are looking to play their younger players now that they have nothing to play for. This means we’ll probably see more of Spencer Hawes, Quincy Douby, and Shelden Williams. Apart from that, John Salmons is a triple-double threat if he gets going.
Because of all the size they have up front it wouldn’t suprise me if Mihm plays at some point. Beyond that, if Sasha, Farmar, and Turiaf bring it as usual we should be fine
Key Matchup -
Kobe vs. Artest: it’s simple really. If Artest can handle Kobe 1-on-1 then they won’t double him and all that beautiful passing that Pau and Lamar do will increase in degree of difficulty. Usually, Kobe does quite well on the blocks or at the elbow, but Artest is physical enough to trouble Kobe down low without needing a double team, so the simplest way to force the double team is to give Kobe the ball on the perimeter and let him read the defense.
Statistical Predictions -
Don’t worry folks, next year we’ll keep track if how well I do.
20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol, and Lamar.
10+ Rebounds: Lamar, and Kobe
2+ Blocks: Kobe, Gasol, Turiaf.
3+ 3pointers: Nobody.
Closest To A Triple-Double: Lamar, or Gasol
Out On A Limb: My dad could beat up your dad.
Game Information -
Radio: KLAC & KWKW
Television: KCAL 9 & KXTV 10
Online: NBA LP
Burning Questions -
How long before crazed Kobe fans start making Kobe Facts a la Chuck Norris?
I’ll Get Them Started: Kobe’s contract has a hidden clause saying that he must wear jerseys weighing at least 50 pounds, and shoes 20 pounds each; this is to ensure that the Kobe/Micheal Jordan comparisons remain realistic.