Kings vs Lakers Preview
Gametime: 7:00pm (pst)
Where: MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Broadcast Information: NBA League Pass
Kings Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SF: Rudy Gay
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Lakers Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: D’Angelo Russel
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Anthony Brown
PF: Julius Randle
C: Roy Hibbert
Exploit the rookies
This Lakers team is not the same Laker team from the glory days. The future Hall-of-Fame shooting guard is now a shell of himself. It’s now up to two players to revitalize this once winning franchise.
Rookie D’Angelo Russel and Julius Randle are the corner stones of this franchise and Laker fans are really excited for these young players to develop. (Randle only played one game and will be eligible for rookie of the year and that is why he is listed as a rookie).
The position these potential franchise changers fill are against arguably the Kings’ strongest positions – point guard and forward/center.
While most are looking at a Cauley-Stein versus Randle matchup, the more reasonable expectation is to see Cauley-Stein facing-off against Roy Hibbert. Leaving Cousins to guard the improving Randle seems very one-sided.
The point guard position is superior for the Kings. Both Darren Collison and Rajon Rondo have shown signs of having a breakout season in 2016 both offensively and defensively.
You are now asking them to shut down a rookie and force mistakes. More than likely it is easier said than done, but the favor resides in Sacramento’s favor.
Ben McLemore needs to breakout
It must sound or look like a broken record here on Cowbell Kingdom, being that shooting guard Ben McLemore has struggled mightily through the Kings’ first four preseason games.
Through four games, McLemore has average a 4.7 points per game, while shooting an abysmal 22 percent from the field.
It has been a train wreck thus far for the third-year guard out of Kansas. The Kings have nothing but high hopes for the 22-year-old.
James Anderson got the start over McLemore against the Spurs and Collison took the nod during the rematch with the Trail Blazers. Seth Curry finished strong against the Blazers, being one of the strong components to the team victory.
Point being, McLemore now has talent behind him. These last few exhibition games are going to be very important for McLemore to get himself out of this slump.
Iron out the kinks
It has been no surprise that head coach George Karl has been experimenting with different lineups. An example of this was the two point guard lineup that was revealed on October 10th.
We saw one major play where Rondo had the ball and decided to drive to the basket. Collison (who was on the wing) decided to slide down to the corner, almost mirroring Rondo.
The facilitating point guard would throw a pass to the wing, where he would only find the ball going out of bounds.
It may not seem that it’s something major. It’s probably not. But the fact remains; there are certain issues the Kings still need to address and with only two games remaining, now is the time.