Archive for December, 2011
The Sacramento Kings defeated the l. a. Lakers within the season opener. No, the year isn’t 2003, this can be in reality the 2011-12 Sacramento Kings we’re talking concerning. Sacramento’s home crowd was electrical and therefore the game felt like Sacramento was back in their glory days another time. The team played all right and persisted to defeat the Lakers 100-91.
This is an enormous win for the team within the season opener. Sacramento has assembled one amongst their bestgroups in years and has the power to contend this year. As a friend of the team, this game proved that they’re capable of scoring and taking part in sensible defense against anyone within the league.
Sacramento was led by Marcus Thornton who finished with 27 points on nine out of 13 shooting. Thornton made four three pointers and had five rebounds and three assists in the game. Sacramento also saw strong games from Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Evans had 20 points but struggled from the free throw line making just seven out of 12 free throw attempts. Cousins battled foul trouble and finished with 12 points and 11 assists.
Fans must have expected more out of Jimmer Fredette in his first regular season game. Jimmer played 25 minutes and only scored six points and had three assists. Jimmer will surely get better and make more of a contribution offensively as the season goes on. Once he hits his stride and gets comfortable with the NBA game, Sacramento could be very dangerous offensively.
Sacramento fans shouldn’t expect too much after just one win. The victory is a great start to the season and shows that when they play well, this team is capable of competing with nearly anyone. The young roster will need to put forth a consistent effort on a nightly basis. If there was ever a season where the team needed to do great, this is the year. Sacramento needs to have the kind of magical season that gets the fan base rejuvenated and believing in their team. This is just the kind of start the team needed to make that happen in 2011-12.
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Devin Ebanks, Josh McRoberts, Pau Gasol
Kings: Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, DeMarcus Cousins
The Lakers Coming In: The Lakers opened the season with a tough loss to swallow: with less than a minute to play, the Lakers blew a six-point lead and allowed the Bulls to score the final seven points of the game, and that’s exactly what Mike Brown touched on in his post-game presser.
“We played pretty good basketball until we went down the stretch,” said Brown. “Obviously there were a lot of things that went wrong. We didn’t quite finish the game — and we had a little bit of trouble closing quarters. But uh, I thought we did a good job closing the third, which was definitely encouraging. But down the stretch, you name it, whether it was missed free throws or turnovers or unnecessary fouls or blown defensive — we had all of that in a 50 second span.”
While there were lots of positives to take away from the season opener (Blake, McRoberts, Murphy, Ebanks, and ball movement to name a few), we still can’t shake the fact that the Lakers, and most notably Kobe, have been turning the ball over way Sacramento kings has too much through two pre-season games and one into the regular season.
The Lakers still haven’t seen a win under Mike Brown, but they proved that they still have the ability to play with one of the league’s elite teams in Chicago.
The Kings Coming In: Last year, the Kings were led by two young and talented ball players in Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. As good and exciting as those two have been, all of their on court ups and downs were overshadowed by the fear that the Kings could be moved from their home in Sacramento. While they’ll spend at least one more season in Sacramento, things still remain unresolved in terms of bringing a new arena to California’s capitol.
While the Kings won’t be playing in a new city this season, they will be throwing out three starters new to the team this season: Jimmer Fredette, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes — two veterans and a rookie who can shoot the lights out. This Kings team also sports a bit of depth with guys like Marcus Thorton, Francisco Garcia and J.J. Hickson coming off the bench.
Kings Blogs: Make sure you check out Cowbell Kingdom and Sactown Royalty for all Kings news and updates.
Keys to the Game: For the Lakers, things remain relatively simple: Take care of the ball. After averaging 21+ turnovers in the preseason followed by a 17 turnover performance in their home opener, this team knows how costly giving teams extra possessions can be — especially against a young, fast squad in Sacramento.
For the most part, I liked what Mike Brown has done with the offense, as J.M. mentioned this morning, the offense looked its best when Kobe was moving without the ball, having him catch in different spots, making it harder for the defense to predict where Kobe would be on any given possession.
times were Pau was catching the ball from 17+ feet and was forced to make plays off the dribble. To get Pau going, Mike Brown is going to have to find a way to get Pau the ball in better spots and closer to the basket.
Defensively, stopping dribble penetration will be the Lakers biggest challenge as Tyreke Evans and even Marcus Thorton have the ability to really hurt teams if they can get into the paint. Gap penetration opens up the perimeter for shooters (Fredette, Garcia, Salmons) and opens lanes for offensive rebounds (Hayes, Cousins, Hickson, Thompson). For the most part, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake did a relatively good job on making gap penetration tough on Derrick Rose, and will have to pick up where they left off tonight against Evans, who has had his way with Laker defenders in the past.
The Lakers might use a much bigger contribution from Pau tonight, too. Last night, Pau had hassle shooting outside of ten feet and uncharacteristic hassle from the free-throw line. a number of Pau’s shooting woes have to a small degree to try to to with Chicago’s defense, however a lot of it had to try to merely with Sacramento kings .
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