Posted by: Kingsguru21 | November 4, 2010

Lakers batter the Kings around like a red headed step child; Lakers beat Kings 112-100

This was a conundrum game. On one hand, I wanted the Kings to win. I always want the Kings to win, and if I had my way they would go 82-0 every year. Alas, it doesn’t quite work out that way and you have to live with the consequences of what happens afterwards. I can do that I suppose although I’m not particularly concerned with a loss to an undefeated (as of now) Lakers team that simply annihilated the Kings from the mid 2nd quarter on.

Let’s ignore Kobe Bryant for a moment, who had no business getting a triple double, in a supposedly competitive game, by the end of the 3rd qtr. Yet, he did. (Kobe was the reason the Lakers won, obviously.)

* The worst thing about this game was how much difficulty DeMarcus Cousins had getting his shot in the paint. Once he learns he can’t go straight up because he’s not as athletic (as some thought anyway) as people say, then he needs to learn that he needs to make a decision as soon as he gets the ball. He can’t dilly dally against the Lakers because, and I say this because Bynum wasn’t around, they will swat DMC’s shots around the backboard and to themselves. (Which is what they did.) When Pau Gasol is more athletic than you are, you got a problem.

I’m not sure whether to be pissed or simply in shock that it took 5 games before DMC took too many 3’s. (After he hit the first one, I was pissed. The guys who were around in the lounge were like why? He hit it. Well, had any of them stuck around and watch him miss the subsequent 3 3’s after, that’s why. His shot selection flat out sucks. All I can hope is that improves.)

Having said that, it’s only 5 games. I want to make a full evaluation on a season of data.

* I want to root for Luther Head. (Unlike Darnell Jackson who I will root for regardless.) But I can’t root for him when he takes multiple pull up 3’s. Ain’t happenin’ Luther. Get it together, please.

* I wanted to have a heart attack when Tyreke rolled his ankle. That is becoming all too common.

* The Lakers only had 6 TO’s. (The Kings only had 8.) Ball pressure is not something the Kings do really well with the players they have, but given the Lakers were scoring at will last night, would have a full court press hurt the team to try? (Just a thought. I’m sure Westphal has his reasons to not commit to something like that.)

* Just as I was pleased that the Kings got out of front in the Lakers in the mid 2nd qtr, it was equally as disconcerting to see it slip away from the team possession by possession as the 2nd qtr wound down. They went up against a superior team that turned the screws on in the latter stages of the 2nd qtr, and thusly acted like it.

Just to highlight this, the Kings shot 46.4% from the floor, 27% from 3 and 61% from the line. Conversely, the Lakers shot 52% from 3, 46% from the floor and 82% from the line. Ballgame.

If the Kings are to make a playoff run (and right now I ain’t seeing it), they are going to have to realize at some point the quality of shots affects not only their offense, but their defense and mental state. As bad as the defense was, I expected the Kings to give up points. But where the Kings have excelled up until last night was in decent shot selection, moving the ball and energetic spurts. It’s almost like they were so jacked up to play the 1st 18 minutes or so that they forgot about the 30 minutes that came afterwards.

You can’t win in the NBA like that against a team like the Jazz, Nuggets, or Clippers let alone a top tier team like the Heat, Magic, Lakers, Celtics, Spurs and so on.

Tyreke Evans understands these moments, but it’s more of a natural understanding that the young great one’s have. Unfortunately, he’s not blessed with a roster full of savvy veteran talent in championship mode.

Like anything else, this is simply a process. Last night was part of said process for a young team to become a playoff team. Eventually, if all goes well with Cousins development I suppose, it will lead to championship aspirations.

Coming in the Kings had the 3rd best offensive efficiency and the 28th best defensive efficiency. One of Paul Westphal’s messages to his young group is this: When your an offensive team, you still have to play defense. You have to make teams work on 2 ends, and when you don’t do that you let the top teams off the hook. Against the lesser teams, it’s all how you exploit the matchup’s. When this team realizes how to use it’s strengths, I imagine we’ll see better defense and more competent offense consistently.

My point is don’t lose the forest for the trees. Laker fans can be annoying for sure (which I’m gonna touch on in a bit), but at least from what I’ve read in multiple places people are worried about the Kings. (Which is what it usually is about.)

* To finish my point about the conundrum, on one hand I’m not happy the Kings lost. But, learning how to win is part of the process in the NBA. While that should be stating the obvious, it’s also a point that there is a flipside. The Kings could have hit all their shots from mid range or long range to stay in the game, but that’s not the way to effectively win in the NBA. When the Kings learn that playing smart, and these kids have a long ways to go, is the most effective way to win, it will result in more victories. (I’m thinking of the New Years game in LA specifically. ) Placebo’s are a bitch; thankfully last night was no placebo.


Last but not least, here is my take on should Kings fans view the Lakers as rivals: No.

Look, and I know Laker fans are irritating superficial twats., but so are some Kings fans, and so are some idiots in Seattle, and a bunch of places in between. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman!) That’s a function of culture; not bandwagon fandom. (Or 1 stems from another at the least.)

I know the Lakers have been “lucky”, in many respects, but that’s not all there is to it. It starts at the top with Jerry Buss and goes down from there. Buss is a revolutionary businessman in the NBA given the contract he handed to Magic Johnson in 1984, making the Lakers a powerhouse team in LA (no easy feat given how popular USC Football and the Dodgers are down there), and finding a way to exploit Shaquille O’Neal’s lack of loyalty. There are many other things in there, but here’s a fact. The Lakers have had 2 lottery picks in history: Eddie Jones (8th overall; 1994) and Andrew Bynum (10th overall; 2005). I recognize the Lakers have gotten plenty of stars and a player like Kobe Bryant would have dramatically changed the scales for any team given that he was taken 13th overall in 1996. But, don’t blame the Lakers for acquiring Bryant; blame the Hornets for taking and trading Bryant at that point.

At any rate, there is no rivalry until you beat the other team in the playoffs. The Jazz & Kings could be argued that they have a rivalry; they both have beat each other in the playoffs. The Mavs? You could argue that too. But the Lakers? Nope. The Laker fans point out correctly, albeit in a snotty obnoxious way that they all seem to have, that the only real rival of the Lakers organization is the Boston Celtics.

Now that said, any Laker fans that bothers to tell me this is getting tuned out. I already know it, and thus I don’t need to read that bullshit on Sactown Royalty just because you live in Sacramento and are a Lakers fan.

I think we can all agree that this is stupid: The Laker flags. (And the Kings flags too.) Those are pointless. Not every Laker fan is a diplomat or important. Leave the flags on the cars to the international politicians and the US State department. Please?

Okay, that’s all I got.


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