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Preview: Lakers at Kings

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THE OPPONENT

The juggernaut [REDACTED] bring a sterling 23-5 record with them to Sacramento. Of course, when you realize they have played 19 of those at home, that they are just 6-5 against teams with winning records, and that they embody evil during a time of love and giving, they look a bit more like the lily-livered pipsqueaks they truly are. (Yes, that's right Pau, your liver is made up of lillies. No wonder you can't hold your bourbon! Lillies have terrible permeability!)

The [REDACTED] lost magnificiently Friday to the Cavaliers. The True and Noble Kings, of course, took the Cavs to overtime on Wednesday. Do the math. NOW! AND SHOW YOUR WORK! NO CALCULATORS!

I would post the [REDACTED] roster, but I've said enough curse words today already.

THE KEY BATTLE

Jason Thompson vs. Pau Gasol. Expect some line-up shenanigans from both Paul Westphal and Phil Jackson, not the least of which because Ron Artest is out with a face injury. (He "fell down his stairs" after "tripping on a box" last night. I think Grant Napear can tell you all you need to know about Artest's physical texture.) Nonetheless, my initial guess is Lamar Odom at starting small forward, which puts the Kings (tall as they may be) in a bind. Gasol is a decent defender, but he can be had by physical bullies, of which Thompson is one. I'll have my eyes on the paint, even if Andrew Bynum and Thompson match up more frequently.

BOLD PROCLAMATION

Kobe will set fire to a courtside fan after being called for palming.

INTERESTING SIDESHOW

More MVP chants for Beezlebub (God forgive us), or Reke?

NUMERIC PREDICTION

Kings by 7.

DETAILS

7PM start. Two Game Threads (7 and 8), a post-gamer (9:45) and a recap (manana).