Happy New Year to the entire Lakers Nation!
The (25-6) Lakers are playing the first game of 2010 against the young and talented (14-17) Sacramento Kings. Los Angeles is looking to win their fourth straight over the team they outlasted in overtime six days ago.
One of the things that stood out in there first matchup, was the uncharacteristic scoring lapse the team experienced at the end of the fourth quarter and the start of overtime. The reason for the lack of scoring wasn’t one thing, but a series of things. Impatience, not reading and reacting to what the Kings defense was doing, taking too many jumpers as opposed to attacking the basket were bigger factors than the Kings defense in my opinion.
The Lakers played without the services of Ron Artest; he is questionable for tonight’s run. Ron Artest has been a key contributor to the stellar defense that the Lakers played earlier this season holding opponents to 94.5 points per game. His absence has seen the Lakers points allowed rise to a 109.8 average.
In an 82-game season there will be stretches where every team have health issues and nothing is going right, but you have to simply play through it. The Kings did a good job of double teaming whenever the ball went into the post, there are several counter measures to this tactic within the triangle offense, but the Lakers instead went away from going inside.
The Lakers have to at times play with what can only be described as hardheadedness and go into the post to get the offense started and the defense moving and making adjustments.
The Lakers had way too many turnovers in the last couple of games which have led to the opposition getting out in transition and scoring easy baskets. The Lakers will be able to impose their will on this team by using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement, taking care of the ball, making sure passes and avoiding cross court gifts after the holiday.
Los Angeles has to control the tempo to avoid Sacramento from doing what they want to do which is get out in transition and run. They have to do a better job of defending the screen and roll action play, stop the dribble penetration, rotate out to three point shooters and play defense without fouling. The Lakers also have to control the boards against this young and active team.
Hopefully, we’ll see the reserves make an impact after being outscore 44-25 in the last game, and as well as see Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol both record double-doubles tonight and start 2010 off to a right start.
Tip-off: 7:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Sacramento: Comcast Sportsnet (Grant Napear & Jerry Reynolds)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Sacramento: 1140 AM KHTK (Gary Gerould)
- Luke Walton (Back) Out
- Ron Artest (Suffered Injuries to his head & Left Elbow) Out
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion fracture, right index finger)
- Kevin Martin (Wrist) Out
- Francisco Garcia (Right Forearm & Wrist) Out
- Tyreke Evans (Sprained Right Ankle) Doubtful