Umm… sorry Joe, that’s a “No”

24 11 2008

November 23rd – Sacramento Kings (5-9) at Los Angeles Lakers (10-1)

The Sacramento Kings get to play Daniel today, heading into the lion’s den (aka The Staples Center), but this time it’s highly unlikely that we’ll have any biblical endings. Wasn’t so long ago that a Kings/Lakers match-up was much-anticipated. Now? We have a David and Goliath storyline, but with a heartwarming lil’-guy-does-well story not likely to eventuate.
There are some shining lights at Sacramento – recent losses haven’t been blow-outs, and Kevin Martin, and John Salmons are good players on the verge of “very good”. Beno Udrih is one of the unsung point guards in the league… and Spencer Hawes looks promising. Beyond that, well… Brad Miller’s still serviceable. This is a weak rebounding team that’s coming up against a well-rested strong rebounding team that’s barely been tested beyond the loss to Detroit.  This, with the Maloof brothers breathing down the front office’s collective necks…
An LA win is expected.

Ummm... no-no Nene!No LA player has amassed an average court-time beyond 34 minutes thus far this season. LA’s ability to push the game’s scoring (ranked 2nd in the league), and limit their opponents (ranked 3rd), in combination with the team’s depth has allowed players such as Kobe Bryant (who hasn’t played this few a minutes since his NBA-sophomore year) to stay well rested. Bryant’s 24 points per are quite a bit more impressive when you factor in that he’s basically playing 3 quarters per game.
Andrew Bynum gets closer and closer to averaging that double/double. Pau Gasol looks good every time out. Trevor Ariza will soon be in those “most improved player” conversations.

LA will hit their rough spots this season, and by and large how they react to those will be the true measure of how much a threat to the title this team is… but it won’t be today, and it won’t be the Sacramento Kings that push them to the brink.
LA by 15.

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