Game Preview: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings

Ezra Shaw

The Lakers visit the Kings for what should be a great pre-Thanksgiving feast for the purple and gold.

Casting Call

Los Angeles Lakers (6-5, 100.0 ppg, 95.0 points allowed per game)

Sacramento Kings (2-8, 91.2 ppg, 100.0 points allowed per game)

Plot

Last night the Los Angeles Lakers pulled out a quality victory over the Brooklyn Nets and then proceeded to travel up the coast of California to prepare for their game against the Sacramento Kings tonight. The Kings have been resting and waiting for this game as they last played the Nets on Sunday (and, lost 99-90). The Kings and Lakers met on November 11th (in a Lakers 103-90 victory), after hanging out in the preseason a whopping three times, so, suffice to say the teams are familiar with one another. Still, a road game against a team that will be fresh and ready to take on their big brother from Southern California won't be a gimmie, and the Lakers are on the back end of their first of two back-to-backs this week.

While the Lakers defense looked strong last night, the starters also played heavy minutes, an occurrence that will be a regularity under D'Antoni. Dwight Howard logged 40 minutes, and Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol all played 38 minutes each in a physical matchup. The Kings will push the tempo with their speed in the wings and try to capitalize on the turnovers the Lakers cough up, though; the Lakers turnovers have been noticeably down lately. Last night they had "only" 11 turnovers. It's a number that still isn't ideal, but as the ball finds that "energy" D'Antoni covets, getting it to single digits can become the norm. A coach that values using as many offensive possessions as possible in order to utilize having supreme talent won't let them toss away those shiny possessions.

This will be another night of a Steve-less back-court for the Lakers, with Steve Nash now simply being out "indefinitely" and Steve Blake in line to miss at least four more games. While having Nash out on the floor would be ideal, this is continuing to provide a great window to examine what kind of chops Darius Morris has and also allows him to grow comfortable playing the professional game of basketball. His work on Deron Williams helped push the Lakers over the top, though he still has plenty of learning to do. The Sacramento Kings back-court doesn't have an elite player to toy with Morris. If anything, this is a great match-up for Morris on the defensive side of the ball, and it should only boil down to a matter of focusing on playing the D he has shown to be fully capable of.

There's no reason to bill this as a great game. It's a back-to-back. Monster match-ups like Celtics/Spurs and Clippers/Thunder headline the night as we roll into Thanksgiving holiday weekend. There's nothing sexy about the Lakers traveling up to Sacramento, aside from another opportunity to pick on an old rival that has been hit with hard times and tack on what should be a win on the road. This time around the Kings will have DeMarcus Cousins to throw at the Lakers bigs, and as Brook Lopez displayed, a mid range jumper to spread the floor goes a long way in busting the Lakers' defense open. Each game is another opportunity for this team to grow together, though, and should be treated as such. And hey, the Lakers are on a season high 3 game winning streak. Stretching it to a fourth game would build great momentum in a tough back-to-back coming up with the Grizzlies and Mavericks.

Theme Song

Foo Fighters - Comeback
Tie up the transmission this one is not a test
Silent all these years but now I'm getting you off my chest
Reeling in the moment, I know it will never last
Tired of keepin quiet, riding with all the rest

Stuck in the middle no-ones making a move
I'm looking in and I've got nothing to lose

I will comeback, I will comeback
I will comeback, I will comeback
I will comeback, I will comeback
I will comeback, I will comeback for you
For you

Hide behind obsessions, I'm trying to keep in check
Ride you for the finish we're coming??
Reeling in the moment I know it will never last
Rise up to the surface high but I'm sinking fast

Stuck in the middle no-ones making a move
I'm looking in and I've got nothing to lose

I will comeback, I will comeback
I will comeback, I will comeback
I will comeback, I will comeback
I will comeback, I will comeback for you

Stuck in the middle no-ones making a move
I'm looking in and I've got nothing to lose

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @BallReasons

- What are they saying over at Sactown Royalty? Check it out.

Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

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