There really isn’t too much to take away from the Lakers 113-96 season finale loss to the Sacramento Kings. From a team standpoint there was nothing much to play for. The Lake Show is locked in at the three seed where they’ll open the playoffs hosting Denver on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant did have reason to suit up as Mamba needed 38 points to catch Kevin Durant for the NBA’s scoring title. With all the defense that wasn’t played tonight he could have dropped 40 with ease. But he chose to take the night off in order to rest up for the playoffs. Both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol did the same. Metta World Peace…well…we know where he’ll be for the next six games.
So as you’d expect DeMarcus Cousins dominated the paint going off for 23 and 19. Jordan Hill was nothing like the game changer we saw against OKC. He certainly wasn’t going to slow Cousins’ role. Truth be told I don’t think Gasol or Bynum would have been able to keep Cousins off the boards either. Dude is a monster when he feels like trying. That’s for sure.
Ramon Sessions had a brief takeover moment in the third quarter. After a listless first half you could tell Mike Brown had words for his point guard at half time. Sessions went for 14 and 5 dimes in only 26 minutes. During one stretch Sessions got really aggressive on offense. He needs to carry some of that swagger into the playoffs.
Devin Ebanks, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy and Andrew Goudelock all made the most of their extra PT. Each of the aforementioned dropped double figures with McRoberts leading the way for the Lake Show with 16 points and 9 boards.
One very pleasant surprise was Christian Eyenga. The athletic swingman just got the call yesterday to join the team from the D-League and did some things that had to make the coaches take notice including an explosive dunk and a monster block.
Eyenga’s block was one of the lone moments the Lakers even tried to play defense tonight. Without their twin towers in the paint the Lakers were exposed by Tyreke Evans who got into the paint with ease.
But as I said you can’t ready too much into that. Not that the Lakers would have been much better on defense even at full strength. That is one area you’d like to see a rededication to against the high powered Nuggets.
Hardly to believe this hectic 66 game schedule has come to an end. It’s been a breathless season with the most exciting part yet to start. This is when we’ll see what this Lakers squad is all about. Kobe Bryant isn’t shy about his expectations. For KB24 it’s title or bust. The quest starts Sunday.
Topics: Andrew Bynum, Andrew Goudelock, Christian Eyenga, DeMarcus Cousins, Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill, Josh Mcroberts, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Mike Brown, Pau Gasol, Ramon Sessions, Sacramento Kings, Troy Murphy, Tyreke Evans