Posted by: Kingsguru21 | December 29, 2009

Kings lose to Lakers in Double OT 112-103

Here is the Box Score.

I don’t have the 4 factors because, well, I’m on my mom’s computer and I forgot how to put the code into the boxscore that will get me those factors. Plus, I had to pick up my dad from the airport last night (who had the wonderful fortune of flying from Chicago via Philadelphia) and that’s always having sheriff’s stare at you for trying to find your loved one’s on the curb. (Note: I wrote most of this originally on Sunday. Sorry for the late publication. I’m almost caught up.)

On & off again I watched the game via stream (my mother doesn’t have TV–which doesn’t bother me unless the Kings are playing) over the web, which sucked (or more accurately the 4th qtr sucked), and yeah. One of the downsides of having broadband, and not being able to use it when you go home.

First, the 2nd OT is what it is. Are the Lakers the better team? Yes. Were they last night? Nope. Winning and being the better team is not mutually exclusive.

I’ve noticed a couple common themes I would like to address, and hopefully I’ll get around to talking about this game in particular.

Size, in particular rebounding, was a problem against the Lakers. The Lakers ended up with 9 more total boards, and that was mostly because they evened the (what was a very wide at one point) margin on offensive rebounds. Whenever you play Jon Brockman, you’re playing 4 on 5 offensively. Yes, he throws his body around, and grabs a ton of boards while on the court, but he can’t score. This is the conundrum of making your team better. How do you make your team better on 2 ends? Rarely do you get perfect role players for your team, but Brockness is one. (Or he may end up being that.)

The thing about last night is that, if nothing else, people will already start this dislike of isolation basketball all over again. I understand WHY people hate it; I just don’t understand how people forget that the earlier Kings teams of this decade used to do it consistently at the end of games.

I saw what happened with Easy Reke at the end of the regulation. And, he held onto the ball too long. I’m not sure the play was that off (as PW said after the game to Ailene Voisin that’s up in a blog entry) from the norm for the Kings. The problem, as opposed to previous teams, is that Tyreke Evans wasn’t facing Kobe Bryant. Last I checked, the Black Mamba is still pretty good. Last I checked, the Lakers still won the 2008-08 season championship. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest? This team is good. We knew that! Yet, we still expect our 20 year old rookie to come up with a better than isolation play at the end of the game to beat this team?

I know the Kings had a 7 point lead against the Lakers, and I know they coughed it up in that first OT. I am disappointed by that, but I know it’s not the end of the world. The Kings had to play perfectly to knock the Lakers out, and they just didn’t.

I will say, for posterity, that non-foul on Pau Gasol on Jason Thompson at the end of the regulation was crap. If that was JT, that foul gets called every time. That having been said, that’s what happens when you’re a championship team. You get those types of breaks from time to time. There were imperfect calls on both sides for both teams, but because it’s the “Lakers” the calls always seem to go in their favor. (That’s sarcasm.)

Other than Gasol’s shove of JT, and the foul that Bryant drew on Tyreke at the end of the 4th, I don’t know that I had much to complain about really about the game. The reality is that while you can complain about the 1 on 1 play Tyreke made on Kobe Bryant at the end of regulation (which is a beef I have), it’s also true the real mistake was not starting 2 seconds earlier. Paul Westphal would rather go to OT than try and have Tyreke Evans beat Kobe Bryant 1 on 1 to win the game. The Kings are not great defensively. The Lakers, while not the best offensive team around so far this season, still have Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. How running a play like you would with 20 mins left in the game vs 15 seconds in the game is comparable to some is beyond laughable; it’s simply ignorant. I understand where the desire comes from, but I simply don’t agree. It’s easy to forget that the same 31 year old Kobe Bryant threw up a bad 3 that led to the shove by Pau Gasol in the first place. And, last I checked Phil Jackson has 10 rings. As much as I hate to say this, the idea that running plays at the end of the game when so much is on the line and the other team is so locked in is a difficult, and losing, proposition. You need your best players, and all the weapons in your holster so to speak, to make the end of game plays really count. The Kings did not have all their weapons available.

The Kings lost the game in the first OT because they crumbled. Young teams do that. What separates the young teams that grow and become championship contenders are the one’s that learn from these mistakes. Even veteran championship players make mistakes in big game’s. THEY HAPPEN!

So while StR night has already come & gone by the time you read this, just know that I don’t feel a conniption fit is worth the end of the game vs the Lakers.

Young teams have these games. Some teams have players who benefit from them as they get older. Others do not. At this point, I think the Kings have these types of young talented players who improve as they get better. Regardless of a victory vs the Lakers the other night, I can promise you that the events that transpired last Saturday do not change my mind about this young group. And, my thoughts on this team are what? That the potential is a championship provided the right moves and everything else.

I’ll take that every time. Again, sorry for the abominably late recap.

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