Chucky Atkins and Tierre Brown vs Mike Bibby and Bobby Jackson:
This is going to be our point guards' hardest matchups yet. Bibby is a very strong PG, compared to Atkins, he is the second coming of Arnold. Bobby Jackson is one of the best point guards in the NBA, and going against Brown, Sasha, and Bobbitt won't be much of a challenge for him. I think we should use Bobbitt as much as possible, against Bibby, because he is one of our more bulkier guards. He has a two guard's body, which could come in handy against Bibby, especially if you want to stop his inside game. I think we will use Brown tonight, because he can get some things initiated for us with his passing and quickness. I Rudy is rotating games where he uses Sasha and where he uses Brown, if I am right, then tonight is Brown's night. I would prefer it, if we used Brown against Jackson, I think we would get the best results out of him, if we went this route.
Kobe Bryant vs Kevin Martin:
Kobe will play a minimum of 30 minutes, the rest will go to Butler, Jones, and perhaps Bobbitt. I think Kobe is going to welcome Martin into the NBA tonight. Having a rookie on our best player, not something I would recommend. T-Mac didn't give him a proper introduction to the NBA, so Kobe must fulfill his duty as a NBA veteran. He must school the kid, dunk on him, and break his ankles. Martin is a good rookie, but it ends there, because he is just a rookie. He won't be able to stop Kobe or Caron, while they will be holding his production to a minimum. Christie will sit out tonight, because he has an injured foot, meaning Kobe will get to go all out. I would expect that the Kings have a lineup of Bibby and Jackson in the game at some point, because Devean will only be able to take so much, before he puts Bibby on Kobe. Kobe can move both of them around, with his additional strength. With Martin on him, he will just shoot on him all night, with Bibby, he might try to get him post game going. Look for Kobe to have a solid game on both ends. He will have a lot of energy on offense tonight, since he can kick his D down a gear.
Lamar Odom vs Peja Stojakovic:
The most unhappy, best shooter in the game against the player that is struggling to find his spot on his new team. We all know that Lamar is going to be the second option, but I think we all are wondering when he is going to show us that Odom. Because right now, he wouldn't be the 7th option, his shot isn't falling and the only thing going for him is his defense. And D is just what we need against Peja. He has enjoyed lighting us up like a Christmas tree in the past, when George was guarding him. Now we have a legitimate player against him, Odom has long arms, and can alter a lot of Peja's shots. Peja isn't a defender, which is good for us. Maybe tonight will be the game where Odom can get something going, break out, and get something going as a Laker. We have the advantage in the SF matchup, because we have a Caron Butler that is ready to go. The athletic backup, logged in 17 minutes as a starter against the Warriors. He will be going against Bluthenthal, who has been playing quite well for the Kings. It should make for a good matchup, Caron is the more athletic of the two and with Rudy as coach, his willingness to fit into this Laker system, and his added muscle over the summer...Butler will win most matchups against backup forwards and two guards.
Brian Grant vs Chris Webber:
I think and hope that Grant is up to starting tonight. He saw 15 minutes Sunday and should be up for more minutes, now. We need a banger to go against C-Webb and I would much rather have Odom on Peja than Webber, because he can stop Peja much easier. Grant will have no trouble guarding the shell of a former all star. Webber has just lost a step or two, when he was injured, and hasn't got them back. Grant is a bigger, bulkier player, and is also much more aggressive than the present day Webber. The best thing that Webber could do for the Kings is not call a timeout, if he can avoid doing this, I think they will be happy with his performance tonight. Cook will likely see 20+ minutes again tonight, since Slava is out. He won't have much of a problem with Ford. Ford is a lot bigger than Cook, by about 50 pounds, so that means that Cook won't be able to do much in the paint, and most of Alton's points will come from the point. Cook needs to hit his jumpers tonight and get out in the open court, which shouldn't be too hard to do against the much slower opponent. Lamar will probably play some at the PF tonight, too, but it would be best if he was on Peja, because that's where the mismatch is.
Chris Mihm vs Brad Miller:
We all wanted to see Vlade's first game against his former team, but due to injuries, we will have to wait until 11/26 to see Vlade play against his former team. Instead, we get to see Mihm vs Miller. We finally get to see what Mihm can do against a real big man in the West. We have seen him have to very good first games, but those were against extremely weak frontcourts, for a Western team, at least. Both are athletic big men that can score and rebound, and can both play both positions in the frontcourt. This should be a good matchup, to say the least. Miller is an all star player, so I think we know who will win this one, but it's good for Mihm to get in some real competition and a taste for what it's like in the West, before the season rolls around. Unfortunately for us, we are going to be thin again at the center position, so Grant will likely see some time here, as will Nwankwo. But the Kings are also without one of their big men, Greg Ostertag will sit out this game, because of a hand injury. Meaning Parada and Smith will be their backup centers, good news for Grant and Nwankwo. I think that Grant could do some damage against Miller, since Grant is a physical player that's not afraid of contact.