Prepare for possibly the worst televised basketball game in history.
That's an exaggeration, of course -- the WNBA's still on TV, right? But this isn't going to be pretty. Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom are both out; Ron Artest will continue the bench spurts in advance of his suspension. There hasn't been a compelling storyline in the preseason Lakers matchup since Rick Fox retired. There's literally nothing to keep your maw's interest...
... except Reggie Theus plays these games to win. He seems to be using preseason to develop the team more than any coach before. And that makes sense -- Theus' team is much less aligned than Rick Adelman's squads ever were. Figuring out a rebounding scheme (because personnel ain't going to work) and getting things set on defense (the frequent zone has been hot-and-cold) are keys, and now's a better time to sort it out than in practice Monday. Since most of the central cogs are available, it's smart and efficient to play to win now.
Not the case for Los Angeles, which could lead to one ugly game. Fortunately, Luke Walton and Maurice Evans and Andrew Bynum are good NBA players, so maybe it will be a bit entertaining.
It's the first of two games this season on national TV for Sacramento, so enjoy the Reggie face time. Tip's sometime after 7 pm; ESPN and 1140 AM will do the trick. Enjoy. Let's go Kings. And by 'go' I mean 'not get injured.' Knock on wood. Knock on wood. Knock on wood.