The Lakers are in Sacramento for one of their last regular season road games to face the Kings, 24-hours removed from a very disappointing 88-85 victory over the Clippers.
The old adage of a win is a win still rings true, which I normally agree with but the defensive performance or the lack thereof, from the team on Sunday was troubling. Coach Phil Jackson was disgusted and stated “I was not happy with the ballgame,” “We didn’t do the game plan the right way.”
The Lakers had a poor-shooting night and shot 42% from the field, 25% from behind the arc and were out-rebounded by their cross-town rivals 46-38. As stated by Lamar Odom “This is the time of the year that everyone is beat up, tired and when a team has to dig deep and find a way to win”.
The Lakers coaching staff informed the team of the other top teams losing and urged them to stay focused. The Lakers once again couldn’t hold a lead or put a team away and saw their defense falter.
It was far from pretty but that is what the Lakers were able to accomplish despite the fact that one of the worst teams in the league laid a 16-point run on them and came within a few inches of a causing the Lakers to have a total collapse.
The Lakers have five games remaining in the regular season and need to use each to focus on playing better defensively. This will be the fourth game against the Kings this season; the Lakers are 2-1 against them.
In the 113-101 loss on 12/9/08 the difference in the game was the play of the Kings & their reserves despite the absence of Kevin Martin. This group outscoring the Lakers reserves 35-23 and the Lakers inability to control Bobby Jackson gave the Kings the win.
The approach to this game needs to all business, play with a sense of urgency, control the tempo and get back in transition and rotate out to three point shooters. The Lakers need to jump out to an early lead to take the crowd out of the game and hold on to it.
The Lakers will see a zone defense and need to work on attacking the basket against that defense and not settling for jump shots. This game is just what the doctor ordered for the Lakers, the Kings are allowing an average of 115 points in the last 12 games.
The Lakers need to Establish Pau in the post; play strong defense and get back to running their triangle offense to perfection, using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement.
Tipoff: 7:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL Channel 9 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Sacramento: CSNCA HD (Grant Napear & Jerry Reynolds)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Sacramento: KHTK 1140AM (Gary Gerould )
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Kevin Martin (Ankle)