Key Reserves: F Jason Thompson
Injuries: Tyreke Evans (ankle, day-to-day)
In the final game of the 2010-11 season, the Lakers look to lock up the two seed with a win on Wednesday over the Queens. Home court advantage can be such a big asset in the playoffs, so hopefully the Lakers close the season with a victory.
Frontcourt: Coach Westphal made a great move by inserting Dalembert at the five and shifting Cousins to the power forward position. This lineup gives the Kings a big and long frontline. Cousins chipped in a career high 30 points against the Thunder on Monday. However, his 43% FG percentage has been amongst the leagues lowest for a forward. Coming off the bench Thompson gives the Kings another big body on the floor who can rebound and score.
Backcourt: Besides the impending relocation to Anaheim, the question all season long for the Kings has been the health of their franchise player Tyreke Evans. In his second season he has only played a total of 52 games. It has been a rough season for Evans as he’s seen all of his averages go down across the board. In an effort to offset the inconsistency of Evans, the Kings made a trade for Thornton in late February. Thornton has been stellar since joining the lineup and has posted 20.8 points, 1.9 treys, and 1.7 steals per game. Filling in for Evans at the point, Udrih has been an effective distributor and facilitator of the offense.
Keys to Laker Victory:
1. Limit Turnovers: Turnover’s killed the Lakers in the 4th quarter of Sunday night’s miserable loss to the Thunder. If they can take care of the ball when it matters most, the Lakers can put themselves in a good position to win any given game.
2. Give Nothing, Take Everything: The Lakers have been doing a whole lot of giving lately. It’s expected that a superstar like Durant will score on you, but it’s an eye opener when marginal players like Nazr Mohammed and Nick Collison are lighting you up. I’d like to see the Lakers play 48 minutes of lockout defense, hell I’d take 30 minutes of solid defensive effort. In the Thunder game I counted about 10 minutes of solid defensive effort for the entire game – 10 minutes won’t get it done in the playoffs.
3. Stay Healthy: With the sudden loss of Bynum, Barnes, and Blake the Lakers lineup is looking very thin. If anyone else were to get injured it could spell disaster for their three-peat hopes.
Lakers’ Injuries: Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Devin Ebanks