Pregame Pep Talk: Every game we play is a game we should win. We are the freaking L.A. Lakers; it is our birthright. The fact that we get to exercise this right over the Kings — I would say Queens, but they don’t have anyone left from that roster — Four more times and twice this week is just an added bonus.

The only downside to playing them twice this week is that I’ll have to come up with something new for the Pregame Pep Talk on Sunday.

It’s a small price to pay though.

Marquee Match Ups -

Point Guard – Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar vs. Beno Udrih: One of our point guards needs to step up and hit some shots, it’s as simple as that. Although he has an all-around game and can stroke it from the outside, Beno Udrih isn’t the fastest player in the League by any stretch and doesn’t really stand out in any particular way, except that he’s left-handed. This should make it easier for Fisher and Farmar to stay in front of him throughout the game.

Bottom line though, we need more production out of the PG position, and a similar effort to the last two games simply will not get it done.

Advantage: Lakers, but only if they make shots!

Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant vs. Kevin Martin: Kevin Martin is another player who can shoot from long range but also excels at taking it to the rack and is one of the genuine success stories in the NBA. However, comparing him to Kobe Bryant is like comparing the lighting in the stands to the lighting on the court of a Lakers home game.

Advantage: Lakers.

Small Forward – Luke Walton vs. Ron Artest: The best two-way talent in the league, former DPOY, lovable headcase — All these describe Ron Artest. Fortunately for us, he’s also been in the habit of having an off shooting night pretty much every other game going back to the Bibby trade, and he shot the ball pretty well against the Heat the other night.

Speaking of lame segues, another good thing about this match up is that Luke has been playing very good offense and defense over the past few games, hopefully this will continue against Artest.

Advantage: Kings.

Powe Forward – Lamar Odom vs. Mikki Moore: Possibly the second easiest match up out of the starting five. No offense to Moore (I followed him last year with the Nets and he has a good outside stroke to go with his hustle based inside game — A veteran Turiaf if you will) but he is too scrawny to handle Odom down-low on defense and his offensive post game lacks any sort of finesse whatsoever. He worked well in NJ because he had Kidd setting him up for easy looks and ally-oops, and he doesn’t get quite the same service now.

Advantage: Lakers.

Center – Pau Gasol vs. Brad Miller: Two 7-footers who can shoot out to the 3-point line, are excellent passers and arn’t famous for their defense. Neither has the speed or the size advantage, or any advantage that I can see. Who wins this battle depends on who’s teammates make the effort to get them involved

Advantage: Push.

Bench: Our bench trio is in an offensive funk right now. I would like to see Sasha and Farmar penetrate a little more instead of settling for three pointers and Ronny should be looking for his shot a little more. If he has the open 12ft jump shot that is definitely in his range. Hitting those would make his defender respect him more on the pic and roll instead of staying back.

The good news is that the defense is still there and these are hustle players, and sooner or later hustle is rewarded. The other good news is that, apart from John Salmons -Sacramento’s, and therefor a poor man’s, Ginobli- the Kings don’t have much of a bench to speak of. Anthony Johnson and Shelden Williams are still not fully integrated into the team and until they are, their starters are having to shoulder most of the minutes.

Advantage: Lakers.

Key Match-Up(s) -

Offense – Gasol vs. Miller: Since both these players are pretty evenly matched, the player with the hotter hand could decide the contest. Also, according to my 50% theory that I presented in the last preview, we will lose if Pau shoots under 50%, so it is imperative that he finds his shooting form.

Defense – Kobe vs. Kevin Martin: We need Kobe to pretend that K-Mart is Wade and really, really shut him down in order for this to be a successful blowout.

Seriously though, this kid can score in bunches and, if Kobe isn’t paying diligent attention, he may get too hot for even Kobe to shut down. Like Marc Jackson says “great offense always beats great defense.”

Let’s Play Coach!

Lakers: Easy shots. Everyone, other than Kobe, needs easy shots to get themselves out of their respective shooting slump. Kobe and Fish should be looking for Pau on the S/R, Farmar and Sasha should try to drive to the basket to either take a shot or kick it out to Fisher or the other guard in the corner, and Lamar should promise to not attempt a single 3 pointer, no matter how open he is. Odds are, they’re going to put Artest on Kobe, so Luke is really going to have to post up K-Mart and take advantage of that.

Sacramento: Single coverage of Gasol. Right now, Gasol is in a shooting slump and has been ineffective at times in the post on isolation plays. Their best bet in slowing Kobe down will be to double off of Luke or Fisher because Luke has yet to regain his mid-long range shooting form and Fisher seems to have lost his entirely.

Statistical Predictions -

I was a bit off with the 5 blocks from Ronny, but that was assuming Kidd would drive to the basket a lot in the half court set. Anyhow, today’s predictions…

20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol, and Lamar.

10+ Rebounds: Gasol, Lamar, and Walton.

3+ Blocks: Turiaf.

Out On A Limb: Lamar has a triple-double.

Game Information -

Radio: KLAC & KWKW

Television: KCAL HD & CSNSAC HD

Online: NBA LP

Burning Questions/Sage Answers -

As the title suggests, this is the section where I will answer some of your burning Questions with Sage answers.

Migs: I can’t believe you called no advantage between Dirk and Lamar, Odom is more often a scrub than an all-star and Dirk is the reigning MVP, as proven by yesterday’s game.

Jonny: I thought Lamar did a fantastic job guarding Dirk throughout the game. Considering that Dirk is essentially a 7-foot fadeaway jump shooter Lamar did exceptionally well to contest a lot of his shots. Offensively though he did under-perform, and that’s why, and if you look back you’ll see, I called no advantage only if Lamar continued his fine form.

Fomaer Big: [Besides, we have three token Euros to their one, and anytime you have token Euros doubling as the token white guys on your team, you obviously have style. <— ] What the hell is that?

Jonny: That, my friend, was an attempt at humor. God knows I could fall asleep reading my own writing sometimes so I try to inject humor, often times via sarcasm, as often as possible. This tends to either make people laugh or piss them off, but either way they get through to the end.

  • demon432

    lakers will win..our bench gets an added boost with radman back in the lineup..

  • dcb2069

    i think pau is a lot better than brad. only reason brad is still here is because shaq was about six inches off on his right hook. otherwise, wed be talking about brad miller in the past tense.

  • yomi

    Uhm…I think I see at least a 6game winning streak…at least. We should be able to win 50 games before our next loss.

  • iLakers

    This pre-game post is a lot better than the last post.

    Nice job.

    All Luke needs to do is play solid D on Artest, as well as KB24 on K-Mart, but thats kind of a given.

    KB24, Pau, and LO should be resting by the fourth. Farmar and Sasha will step it up against this weak defensive team.

    My score prediction:

    Lakers 110 – Kings 93


    The bench will be HUGE this game.

  • David

    I’m gonna be at the game in my Laker jump suit getting heckled by the fans. I think i’ll get the last laugh. Hope we blow them out.

  • Nabil

    We need a couple blowouts to get our swagger back.

  • LD2k


    These fans are in denial :lol:

  • Michael_23

    I’d approach this game like Portland. Lakers gotta come in with the intensity to win and sense of urgency.

  • KONG!

    I don’t understand why Walton is in the starting line-up. Hopefully when Ariza gets back, he will take the starting position from Luke.

    He could be our “bruce bowen” but without the cheap-shots and stupid looking alien face.

  • pr0mega

    Someone posted this and it got deleted LOL


    You posted something about the Lakers “blowing up” their team when they had the most “dynamic duo” in NBA history. First off, signing Shaq to another long term deal MAY have allowed the Lakers to get one more title, thats about it. He would be dragging L.A. down right now just like he did to Miami and now PHX. So really we just got rid of a huge liability. Now, what the hell is the KINGS excuse for being so terrible still? Even when you had Peja, Bibby, Webber and company, you couldnt get over the hump and were just as pathetic as the Mavericks were last year losing in the first round. Then you decide to “rebuild” yet you still do not have a good team. One of the sorriest franchises in the NBA . In the meantime. we had one year of missing the playoffs since Shaq left, and two years of first round knock outs (more than SAC town can say) and now we’re considered the best team in the NBA with the addition of Gasol, emergence of Bynum, the best player in the game in Kobe, Hall of fame coach in PJ and one of the top benches. SO, while we “blew up” our team, we have already rebuilt for NOW and the FUTURE….


    It’ll be fun going into ARCO tonight and dismissing your pathetic Kings again. Funny how now-a-days when people talk about about a king or kings, its nothing about Sacramento, its all about LeBron.


    And BTW, Gasol vs Miller is NOT a good matchup LOL

    ^^^^ A Real Fan Site for a Real FRANCHISE!


  • lalakerfan

    where’s amber’s prediction?

  • lkr4lfe

    yomi Said,
    Mar 4th, 2008 at 11:52 am
    “Uhm…I think I see at least a 6game winning streak…at least. We should be able to win 50 games before our next loss.”
    That would definetly be the BEST case scenario. We have a very TUFF schedule coming up where we go on a road trip playing, NOR, Hou, Dallas, and Utah (who has the best home win record in the entire League and have always given us problems. That road trip will be the biggest test for the lakers this season in my opinion.

  • awesomerob24

    lakers will win

    damn these pregame articles are long

  • Mitch4Pres

    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.

  • Phant0M

    [Comment ID #28431 Will Be Quoted Here]

  • mplakers

    ab4sure admitted to watching his husband dwade go up against “dirt no-wins-ki” in the sallad maverick’s choke fest against the heat.

    did you cheer for him like a dutiful wife?

  • Kaybee24

    Good news for rad being back for this game now whack azz Luke walton can sit the hell down. I am so sick of that no talent havin azz getting the spotlight like he’s a star. luke walton aint ***** ppl! you ppl put him up there as if he’s a main contributer or something how overrated is this guy gonna get. the only real reason he plays for the lakers or in any case any nba team is because of his pops point blank. he is non existant on defense offensively he is inconsistant and one dimensional. atleast with ariza he had multiple things he can do. 1. get to the basket and get fouls(important in this league) luke cannot do that 2. energy(grant hill facial) 3.defense( Really important not only in the league but at the sf position ex. lebrons, carmelos etc) sure Ariza’s ju,p shot is *****ty but the main thing is he’s not 1d. all luke can do is pass and go to the whole and get blocked. i dont know 1 other sf in the league that cant dunk fluently. if i had to pay to see someone dunk outta coby k and luke my money’s on ck. watch the game 2nite and see ya boy fluke stink up the court career night for ron comin right up

  • sepehr

    Beno udrih is gonna be the difference maker in this game, the guy is a great PG and is really going unnoticed since he plays on a bad team in the west. Lakers should win this game if they play good defense on Artest and Udrih. If lakers can come out and make their 3’s this game will be over soon.

  • Michael_23

    If Artest gets hot scoring, Lakers will just put Kobe on him and Sasha’s scarppy defense on Kevin Martin. Simple as that.

    Pau can score against Brad. And Ronny and swat Brad’s shots.

    D. Dish will hit the jumpshots against Beno and Farmar will dribble penetrate pass Beno.

  • KB24 RULEZ!!!

    even if kobe is in the side line,the lakers will win this game!!!hahaha!!!

  • Thomas

    The Lakers have both these games this week and its hard to see anything but a double-digit win both times we play them. I mean the team we play between the Queens is the Clippers. Come on it should be easy to win this week.

  • Migs

    Nice job with the pre-game but again puzzled by some of your comparisons.

    How is Miller/Gasol a push? I know Miller is playing really well this season but come on, its PG16 man. That’s got to be advantage Lakers.

  • Jonathan Somers-Harris