Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

November 11, 2012
Kings at Lakers: Five things to watch

LOS ANGELES - The last time the Kings visited Staples Center on Oct. 21, it was for the preseason game the Lakers "tried" to win. The Kings won the game and the Lakers ended the preseason winless.

Obviously both teams will be trying to win tonight.

Here are some things to look for as the Kings look to beat the Lakers again.

1. Reach advantage: Pau Gasol is one of the most frustrating matchups for DeMarcus Cousins because of his wingspan. If Cousins is to gain an advantage against Gasol he needs to be physical and create space.
2. Running bigs: Look for the Lakers to try and score in transition by having Gasol and Dwight Howard try to outrun Cousins and Chuck Hayes down the floor. Team defense has to be aware to prevent easy baskets.
3. Perimeter post ups: Kings coach Keith Smart has not wanted to double team post players this season but if he goes with the small lineup the Lakers might force him to. Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace are too big to leave the likes of Marcus Thornton alone, where he'd give up too much in size and strength.
4. Bench production: The Kings can't afford to be outplayed by the Lakers reserves, which has been a weakness of Los Angeles. The Kings took a step back in Friday's loss to San Antonio when they went to the bench in the second quarter with a lineup that included Hayes, Francisco Garcia and Travis Outlaw. That can't happen again.
5. Block out the noise: Yes, the Kings have gotten some bad calls this season. But they can't get so caught up in the officiating they lose focus on the game. Blocking out the noise has to include what's said on television.

I have no idea how Cousins knew so quickly about what Sean Elliott said about him on the Spurs broadcast, but the NBA is now looking into his decision to wait for Elliott after the broadcast ended.

I was already headed to Keith Smart's press conference so I had no idea Cousins waited on Elliott. In the locker room Cousins said Elliott was "immature."

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