The Sacramento Kings crushed the Los Angeles Lakers at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday with Los Angeles looking more like a D-League team rather than an NBA squad. The defense was awful with the Lakers giving up 80 points in the paint to DeMarcus Cousins and company. This was the first time an NBA team had given up 80 points in the paint to an opponent in 20 years.
With the Lakers’ defensive effort being a major concern moving forward, head coach Byron Scott was asked whether Metta World Peace should be given a chance to play in order to help improve the team on that side of the floor.
Coach Scott admitted World Peace may get a shot down the road, but not right now, via Bill Oram of the OC Register.
Probably later on,” he said Saturday after a light practice at the Lakers’ facility. “I’m not going to panic after two games and all of the sudden change everything that we’ve been doing.”
During the season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves last week, the Lakers were up by as much as 16 points and seemed to be well on their way to starting the year off with a win at the Staples Center. Although the Lakers showed signs of promise, Los Angeles let Minnesota come from behind and get the one-point victory.
Despite the loss, no one was panicking in Los Angeles. The consensus was the Lakers may be better than anticipated, but that drastically changed after an embarrassing loss to the Kings on Saturday.
There’s no question this team is more talented than last year’s squad. The additions of Lou Williams, Roy Hibbert, D’Angelo Russell, and the return of a healthy Julius Randle has the Lakers headed in the right direction.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s loss to the Kings looked a lot like many of the losses last year with players fatigued and lost at times on both ends of the basketball floor. If the team continues to play with the same effort as they did against the Kings, the pressure will be on Coach Scott to make some changes. World Peace getting minutes in the rotation may be his first move.