Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 15, 2009

Lakers beat Kings 98-92 in a (surprisingly) pointless game

Yes, the “surprisingly” in the title is sarcastic. Yes, the game was pointless. The Lakers had a 20 point lead that was built up with their real starters (like Kobe Bryant–you know who he is, right?) in the game. Than the Laker reserves came in, and Paul Westphal kept playing his starters for the most part. (Although Phil Jackson left Andrew Bynum in the game for much of the 4th quarter as well.)

What does this game mean? Well, nothing. Beno Udrih got hurt, and I’m not sure it means anything. It may mean more minutes for Sergio Rodriguez, and beyond that? Nothing.

Donte Greene didn’t play. I’d be curious as to why, but I already see what PW will say: “We were trying to stay in the game and continue with the guys who were playing well already.” Jon Brockman didn’t play much either tonight. I don’t really think it means that PW didn’t ever intend to not play Donte Greene. Whatever it means, it means that Greene has received a DNP-CD twice in a row.

Sean May barely played too. Which I felt was interesting, but I’m not sure what it means really.

Jon Brockman played even less than May, and never did come back in. Melvin Ely didn’t get any time.

If you look at the box score, this game was mostly about Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes. Each of them had their successes, and failures. I guess it’s a good time to point out that JT is the old man of the group, and he’s at that AARP age of 23 years old. (Hawes is 21 and Evans 20.) Time is on their side.

Tyreke Evans shot poorly (6-18), but had 9 assists and 8 rebounds (1 offensive) as well. He had good moments, and bad moments. He looked like a rookie who has a lot of upside and a lot to learn.

Jason Thompson showed his versatility (to play the C & PF), his weaknesses (needs to get much more effective at denying post position to players like Andrew Bynum), and showed how effective he is by being able to hang around the rim. JT may never be a star, but he’s a damn good player who can do a lot of different things. Once he picks up how to be a quality low post defender, and maybe a few low post moves to go along with the defense, he’ll be a damn good player who can provide a high skill set with quality athleticism and energy. His stat line is somewhat deceiving, but that’s okay.

Spencer Hawes definitely was not as effective as JT or Evans, but he also got stuck on Andrew Bynum a lot 1 on 1. It’s very clear Hawes is a better post defender than JT is at this point. It’s also clear that he has still a lot to learn. The highlight of the game for me (with regards to Shawes) was seeing Spencer lull Lamar Odom into a foul by faking a turnaround (that he would have taken last year) and then going up & under. He pulled the same move on Andrew Bynum but missed the layup. Spencer has those moves inside, and needs to make them more often. He doesn’t need to do anything particularly better, but he has simply to make more of his opportunities. This was an excellent learning opportunity. If Andrew Bynum isn’t the 4th best big in the West, I don’t know who is. (Bynum is all of 22 years old himself. Fucking geriatric league this NBA is.)

As far as the rest of the team, I thought Desmond Mason was okay, but hardly anything to write home about. I wasn’t expecting much of a read on him, and I didn’t get one. Andres Nocioni was, umm, Noc. He did what he does. (Like that stupid goal-tending play he made at the end of the 4th.) Martin missed a lot of FT’s, 4 to be exact, for him, but he only played 19 minutes. Not a biggie there.

Which leaves me to Sergio Rodriguez. He does not impress me, and this team will be worse with him on the floor as opposed to Beno Udrih. Udrih (as scary as this sounds) is a better defender and a far far far more capable shooter. That’s a major problem with pairing Rodriguez and Evans together: Neither guy can shoot from outside very well right now.

As far as Omri Casspi, he looked (a lot like Tyreke on a much more scaled down basis) like a rookie. He showed moments that suggest he has a high basketball IQ, and he did some good things on both ends of the court that you won’t notice in a box score. I didn’t notice him force any shots, and I didn’t see anything truly egregious about his play. On the other hand, he isn’t a star and doesn’t project or show himself to be. That’s okay really because I don’t think the Kings are expecting him to be that. So, let’s not get carried away on calling Omri Casspi the starting SF for your beloved dipshit’s just yet, okay?

Looking at the rebounding stats, I felt it’s very mis-leading. The Kings with their individual players had 47 rebounds plus 8 “team” rebounds. The Lakers had 52 boards by individuals, but 5 “team” boards. That’s a 57-55 advantage, and given that the Lakers are one of the best 5 teams rebounding in the NBA (or were last season), that says something to me. I hope the Kings continue to do well in that regard. (It also could be that that the Lakers have less quality rebounding the deeper they go into their bench.)

One other thing I’d love to point out in the “team” category was the generally quality ball movemet. It was nice to see, and it was nice to see that most players on the team generally were trying to move the ball to get a higher quality shot than the one they had. It did result in better looks than I’m sure what the Kings got vs Portland in the previous 2 pre-season games.

A more “teamish” point I’ll make about Omri Casspi tonight: He was a minus 20 in +/-. This is a great example, I think, where you can’t analyze what happens. Casspi was on the court when the Kings were giving up ground, and wasn’t on the court where they weren’t. Does that mean he’s a terrible player (everyone else on the court went from 0-12 on either side of the ledger, but Casspi was the main extreme in the game)? No. So, ignore it.

As far as Paul Westphal, I think it’s clear he’s working his core of young players (Hawes, Thompson, Evans) because he wants them to get some rhythm before the start of the season. If the Kings make any real improvements, it will be because those trio of players are making true strides that make the Kings better.

On the other hand, I felt tonight’s game was a tremendous opportunity to use Donte Greene as the PF alongside Casspi to see how they fit alongside each other in a difficult matchup vs the Lakers. I believe, although it may be DG bandwagoning on my part, it would have been interesting to see that transpire. Then again, maybe Donte has already burned his PW bridge. (Which I would not be surprised, but I would find it very difficult to understand exactly why.) I suspect there is another line of reasoning. As long as Donte works (and I do think there has been an emphasis somewhat from the reporting end to note that Donte is in numbers game at the moment–even without Francisco Garcia around) hard in practice, I think he’s okay. That’s my gut feeling.

SHawes & JT got a lot of extended time tonight, and I think PW was experimenting with combos (alongside JT/Shawes) versus a team like the Lakers. He was trying to see what players he can really work together, and what kind of offense/defense he can cobble together with various players on the floor. It had nothing to do with Sean May, whom the Kings expect to do several things over the course of the season.

I think if anything, and I know this will make some mad, but this game is somewhat proof that maybe Andres Nocioni will be the starter come the 27th simply because he’s the best fit alongside JT & Shawes on the front line. I think that’s why the extended look with that 3some came as it did.

So, folks it’s the pre-season. Does it matter? Not really. Do I care about the loss? No. I’m just interested to see what rotations that PW uses from here on out. But, other than that, I’m not really sure what to think at this point to be quite honest. And, it’s pre-season. I didn’t expect anything particularly illuminating this pre-season, and nothing particularly illuminating has happened.

Breathe Baby Breathe. It’s going to be a long season if you just trip out about the minor shit this early in the game. Hee-whooo–heee–whooooo-heee—whoooo-heee—whoooo-hheee–whoooo……….

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Responses

  1. Do you wanna know the funny thing? I stayed awake till 4 am to see the game, I spent more than half an hour trying to make the streaming links work (the JustinTV was not functioning because “the limit of stream for your country was already reached” while the other one was simply lagging too much and I wasn’t able to see a single action) and it finished with me at 6.30 am without the possibility to sleep (I had to wake at 7.30), so, basically, it was a useless night…

    Anyway, even if this was a regular season game I think that the gap between our beloved dipshits and the Lakers would have make this game pointless anyway.
    I think that JT can play the C, but I see him having a lot of difficulties guarding that position. I don’t know why Kevin had such a bad night and stayed so little time on the floor, maybe you can enlight me.
    I also hope that the “Desmond Mason as your beloved dipshits’ starting sf” experiment is officially closed. Forever.

    • Sorry to hear you had a sleepless night. Truly unfortunate as it were.

      As far as JT guarding the C effectively, we can safely agree to agree on that one Panzer. He’s gotta improve there to be a consistent option at C. As far as Martin, he didn’t shoot very well, and he didn’t play very many minutes. As Sims put it in the StR game thread: Martin is guaranteed a spot on the roster.

      I really think this was PW trying to play Shawes JT and Reke all at the same time to get an idea of what he could work with and what not. I doubt you’ll see that again in the pre-season with the heavy extended minutes.

      Again I’m sorry you had a sleepless night Panzer. I’m not really sure I wouldn’t have given up, but big ups for your dedication mayne.

      • I appreciate ^^

        The thing about KMart having a locked spot on the roster hit me as a great truth, and it’s a very good reason not to play him extended minutes as PW tries to figure out which rotations work better.
        I also heard he had flu symptoms, so that won’t help I think.

        I think Hawes & JT is a great frontcourt, but, as far as they develop, there are always 4-5 players in the league that will always represent a significative mismatch for them: I’m talking about Bynum, Oden, Howard and Shaq to a certain degree. Is this terrible? Well, it’s not paradise, but, given the little number of pure “big physical” centers in the league and given the fact that that number is going to decrease year by year I think we can live with that, considering that even JT & Hawes represent a defensive problem for those guys with their ability to be effective both from the low post than from the midrange and, in the case of Hawes, from beyond the arc.

        About Reke: he has on his shoulder 30 minutes of NBA opponents more than yesterday at the same hour, and he has lived directly the experience of guarding/being guarded by one of the two best players in the league (I know Bryant was playing maybe 20% of his potential, but he’s still Bryant). He went with a good stat line (13,9,8 seems pretty good to me) and this tells me that the guy is quite confident, that he likes to compete and that, most important thing, wants to play for the team and wants to win with the team. I think this is the best thing you can hope to see by your “rookie savior” in a pointless preseason game.

        Sorry for the wordly invasion!

        Go Beloved Dipshits!

  2. Never be sorry Panzer. It’s a sign of weakness. (Actually only be sorry for things that are important. Verbose on a blog? Eh, probably not an awful thing by any measure. Heh.)

    You bring up a great point about Shawes & Jt. I think they can each be a top 10 player at their position, but I doubt they could be better than top 5 (Shawes probably) and be a truly elite player. That’s one reason I’ve pushed Derrick Favors so hard for that reason, although I’ll admit the statement you made did hit home in terms of that point. So, thank you.

    Still, JT & Shawes are more than competent players in a frontcourt rotation. That’s hardly a terrible thing.

    As far as Reke, he’s going to get exposed. It happens to every rookie every year in every way. What marks the special one’s differently is how quickly they’re able to adjust and play through the many difficulties. Superstar’s usually show a glimpse of it right away. We are seeing those glimpses of Reke already. (Although I can’t really say I’m shocked by the development.)

    Get some sleep Panzer! You’re going to need it homey!

    • Last reply before I finally get some sleep (I’m basically writing with my eyes closed, so my bad english will become a terrible english for this post) (I found the match on RojaDirecta free to download, so I’ll finally see it tomorrow):

      I can see how much Derrick Favors would help to create a terrific team. We could use him in a super-physical lineup with Evans-Martin-Favors-Thompson-Hawes that would annihilate every team with his strenght or use his physical tools to guard someone in the post as a 4 with Thompson or Hawes playing the 5.
      I see how John Wall is an absolutely exciting player, and, knowing the philosophy of the Draft I can see the Kings drafting him if they go with the #1 pick but I don’t see him fitting well with the current roster. He would not pair well in the backcourt with Reke (the guy on which the management has decided to rely for the future), while Favors would be the perfect player.

      And now, almost quoting Roy Batty from “Blade Runner” : “Time to sleep”!

      • Your English is better than my Italian my friend.


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