Happy Ron Artest Day!

That should’ve been the official greeting in Las Vegas today after the guest of honor received a key to the city. Apparently, that key opens up more than just casino doors. That key to Sin City seemed to open up the hoop as well because four out of the five times Ron Artest shot from behind the arc, the ball saw nothing but the bottom of the net, and the Lakers saw their first pre-season victory against the young Sacramento Kings.

While Phil Jackson went almost shoeless from the sidelines (wearing socks with sandals), Kobe Bryant went sleeveless at the knee and for good reason. Bryant moved with ease tonight. He ran after loose balls; one that led to hockey assists galore, and ending in one of Artest’s four three-pointers of the evening. Bryant also guarded Omri Casspi into a 1-6 kind of night. He even dictated a fast break resulting in Matt Barnes’ layup. Bryant only shot 2-10 from the field, collecting seven points in all, but he admittedly, is still not100%. The fact that he didn’t appear to experience any pain was a huge upside.

Another upside of the game? Ball movement. The Lakers collected 26 assists on 37 made field goals compared to the Kings’ 15 assists of 29. From Derek Fisher’s fake 3-point attempt pass to Artest for three, to Lamar Odom’s long cross-court pass over Sacramento’s defense for a signature Shannon Brown dunk; from Bryant’s long pass to a sprinting Matt Barnes for a layup, to Steve Blake’s set-up for a Pau Gasol jumper, the importance and effectiveness of sharing the ball in the Laker offense is obvious. The 26-18 assist to turnover ratio could use some work, however.

The Laker bench, led by Shannon Brown’s 17 points and Odom’s effort all around, produced 45 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks. Brown’s points came from his usual dunks, and a stepback or two, but he’s also shooting more confidently from the perimeter.

Matt Barnes, still trying to feel his way through the complicated offense, shot 3-4 from the field for eight points, showing he is more than just a defender or enforcer (though a quick skirmish with Kings’ forward, Carl Landry might beg to differ). Two of his inbounds passes led directly to easy baskets.

Rookie Devin Ebanks continues to show promise, scoring 4-9 from the field for 10 points.

After a weeklong (let’s call it what it is) vacation in Europe, the Lakers came back to Southern California to put the actual training back in camp. Much time has been spent familiarizing the five new players on the team with the triangle offense; a system not often mastered as quickly by some than others. Tonight’s display, however, looked to be a step in the right direction.

Pre-Game Thoughts: Vacation’s over. Let’s see what this Lakers team is shaping up to be.

Half-Time Thoughts: 47-46 – Before Sacramento had their run, the Lakers were playing some great team ball and Ron Artest is sort of on fire. Let’s see if he can carry that into the second half.

Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Freethrow line – each team missed 12 free throws. It doesn’t matter now, but if it were January, missing a dozen free throws in a three-point game might be a factor.

Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: The bench had a very productive game, but this night’s star was Ron Artest who shot 7-11 from the field, including 4-5 from downtown, for his 18 points. Artest seemed to channel his inner Game 7 tonight.


    Nice to see some defense and a bit of old and new gelling. I see ebanks kind of feeling a bit more comfortable with his role. Caracter looks too tight still. Looks very nervous. I like though that he does bang down low for position. Kids are still young and on the biggest stage. A couple more games and they should be fine.

  • 242LakerFan

    Encouraging signs all around. Signs of health, signs of pieces coming together, signs that a little good work over the next couple of weeks and things are ready to roll.
    NWA – compliments are becoming superfluous. This could lead places if you play it right. I’m channeling my inner Alice and seeing you at a mahogany desk writing with a globally known logo on the wall.

    • Anna

      Yes! Encouraging is right! Matt Barnes, as confused still as he says he is with the offense, looked like he was making progress. Shannon Brown – oh man, I hope this pre-season version is good for the regular and post-seasons too cuz he looks great out there.

      No one’s mentioned him anywhere but DFish looks really good out there too! I swear that man doesn’t get old. And maybe having Theo Ratliff take over as the oldest guy on the team makes DFish feel younger =)

      Your inner Alice – haha! She’s my favorite and thank you for that great imagery. Hope it comes true. BTW, haven’t seen “NWA” in a long while so I suddenly craved a listen for some rap music. haha!

    • phenor


  • BarcaLakerfan4life

    shannon brown will put up numbers this season mark my words!

  • Pho Kim Long

    Man o Man. Kobe looks washed up.


      Kobe’s play reminds me of an old school mechine that if stayed on, it would produce non-stop with a little maintenance every now and again. But as soon as someone turns it off for a couple of months, it won’t be the same with a simple turn of the switch and see production right away. A team of mechanics have to go through it, warm it up, do a couple of production run tests, then when it’s all warmed up, it will pretty much run on it’s own without supervision.
      Kind of like a printing press vs. hp printer, Locomotive vs. prius, can’t think of anythingn else…

    • Anna

      Ummm, I’m not ready to call Kobe “washed up” just yet. I know he’s been playing a long time and the miles on his body are enumerable, but I know nothing of recovering from knee surgery so I’m going to give him a while more to get back to form. Have faith, kids. Kobe and Phil (and the rest of the team for that matter) don’t seem worried so I won’t be either.

    • keepon_keepinon18

      More like “washin’ up”. Kobe is just getting ready for the regular season. If you’ve watched all three of the Laker preseason games, then you could easily notice how much better Kobe looked yesterday than the previous two games. If you’re going by his shots made versus shots attempted, then I understand…

  • laker fan for life and death

    Way to go Ron Ron. All that pussy around Vegas got him inspired. See Phil a few trips to The Spearmint Rhino does a fellow good once in a while. Forget the triangle its all about the vertical taco . MMM good



  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    g.o.a.t 2 for 10,way to bring it mamamaba…smooth.


    but he played,not like that pussy ass lebra.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    you mean bynum?

    • Showtime4eva

      Ha, you can clearly see I typed “pussy ass Lebra”

    • phenor

      lol you illiterate fck you cant even read. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    being a laker fan ,you see pussy ass every night……


      only punk pussy I encounter is laffs atu.

    • Kobe4life

      Aren’t you a female anyway laffs atu, we’ve got some lezbians on here.

    • Kobe4life

      Being laffs atu, I get no ACTION!

  • roscoe

    yeah that’s cause we live in LA and can get model pussy and ass every night, where you live?

    Oh wait, it doesn’t matter, because if you lived in the victorias secret catalogue you’d still BE TROLLING A LAKERS FANSITE ABOUT A PRESEASON GAME!

    • showtime4eva

      hahaha.so true