The (33-13) Los Angeles Lakers, playing in only their second game of the week, host the (10-33) Sacramento Kings. The Lakers lead the season series with the Kings 2-0. The Lakers swept the season series last season. The Lakers are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Kings including winning the last eight straight.
The Lakers are 16-7 all-time against the Kings at Staples Center and 8-2 in their last 10 contests. Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.3 points against the Kings. In 35 starts, Pau Gasol has posted an average of 21.3 against Sacramento.
While we are on the subject of scoring, it is time for a Kobe milestone alert.
Kobe Bryant needs just 13 points to move into eighth on the All-Time scoring list. Something tells me that the Black Mamba will achieve this milestone before the end of the first quarter. The Kings, fifth in the Pacific Division, have dropped five of their last six games.
Several people in NBA circles considered the Kings an up-and-coming team. No one considered Sacramento a Playoff team, but an interesting group of young talent that had the potential to improve on their 25-wins last season. Exceeding the 25-win mark is still possible, but difficult.
The Kings are a young team that wants to get out in the open court and run. The Kings are the sixth best rebounding team in the league. However, Sacramento is 21.5 games behind the Purple and Gold. To increase that number by one, the Lakers have to stay in the moment and not look past this team. I know they’llbe ready for Sunday.
The Lakers are working hard to shake this trend of not getting back in transition, late close outs, poor or late rotations, needless double teaming non-threatening post players and allowing too many three-point shots and shooting poorly themselves.
The Lakers are a rhythm team playing in a good rhythm right now. The Purple and Gold will stick to the formula, establish both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the painted area and give them enough touches to dominate. The Lakers ball movement, player movement, experience and execution will be the difference
I recall DeMarcus Cousins saying and I quote “Bynum should not be able to touch the championship trophy”. As if to state that Bynum did not hold up, his end or contribute. I feel that without going out of his way or changing the game plan Bynum will make him pay for his transgressions.
L.A. defensively needs to control the tempo, stop both the dribble penetration and the ball. The Lakers need to do a solid job defending the screen and roll plays, get back in transition, quickly rotate out to open shooters and challenge every shot.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Kings: B. Udrih, T. Evans, O. Casspi, J. Thompson, D. Cousins
Tip-off: 7:30 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)
- Matt Barnes (Torn Lateral Meniscus, Right Knee) Out
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Out
- Andrew Bynum (Hyper-extended Right Elbow/ Contusion to Ulnar Nerve) Probable
- SG Francisco Garcia (Strained Left Calf) Out