Written by: Brian Chettanapanich
Tonight the Lakers will face the young, up and coming Sacramento Kings. The game will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada which is the final Lakers pre-season game anywhere besides California. The Maloof family, who owns the Sacramento Kings and the Arco Arena, have a rich history in Las Vegas .
Years ago, I remember there was a rumor going around that the Sacramento Kings might move to Vegas. Unfortunately, the day for a NBA team to come to Vegas isn’t here yet, but someday it just might happen.
Losing in Barcelona was tough for the Lakers. Kobe gave the fans a good 25 minutes to watch him play and Pau Gasol had an incredible game with a double double, knocking down 25 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Lamar Odom was another bright spot, showing he is ready for the season, leading the team with 18 total rebounds.
Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant will probably sit out this game to rest his injuries for the regular season. Sorry Lakers fans in Vegas, at least you’ll see him on the big screen!
Another player out for Los Angeles is Andrew Bynum, for obvious reasons. The team hopes Bynum gets healthy enough for the start of the 2011 year push.
The Lakers will be coming from Europe to Vegas after facing the Minnesota Timberwolves in London, and the Regal FC Barcelona, both which resulted in losses. The Lakers will have Pau Gasol, Matt Barnes, Ron Artest, Steve Blake, and Lamar Odom running the show in Vegas.
Phil Jackson will probably throw rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter to try to have them prove if they can be a solid addition to this back to back championship team chasing a three-peat once again.
The biggest match-up to watch tonight will be 5th overall pick DeMarcus Cousins against Gasol and Caracter. Pau can easily shoot the mid-range shot and overpower Cousins in the paint. Caracter is also a rookie and might try to out hustle and muscle Cousins.
Offensively, Cousins will have a hard time banging in the paint with these Lakers guarding him. He has yet need to prove he has a jumpshot. However, Caracter and Naymick who are looking for a spot on the roster will need to stop Cousins with all their efforts.
Rookie Devin Ebanks will most likely guard forward Omri Casspi who shot 37% from the 3-point line last season. Ebanks, most popularly known for his Trevor Ariza-like skill set, will need to limit 3-point shots from the Kings. Ebanks will need to pick up the triangle offense in the pre-season quickly, and facing the Kings will be great practice for him to learn it.
Guards Steve Blake, Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic, and newly added Trey Johnson will have the role of guarding the 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans. Blake is quick on his feet and his defense is quite impressive in his past few seasons with Portland.
Brown will be the main concern. He is known for his flashy dunks, but his defense will be questioned especially against a talented Tyreke Evans.
Lakers vs. Kings
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 – 7:00 PM PST
Radio: 710 AM ESPN