Tonight the 4-2 Timberwolves will be taking on the 3-4 Lakers in LaLa at the Staples Center. The game is at 9:30 P.M Eastern, 8:30 P.M. Central. I’ll be watching on League Pass.
Kobe Bryant won’t be walking onto that court. (Eds. Note: He might be limping onto the bench. The operative message is, he won’t be playing tonight against the Timberwolves.) But Nick Young will. Like Kobe Bryant, Nick Young is a shooting guard. Like Kobe Bryant, Nick Young gets up shots.
But Nick Young is not Kobe Bryant. He has more in common with Jordan Crawford and other NBA gunners, and former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. (It’s the shoes).
Imelda Marcos and her kicks
Swaggy P and his kicks
Tonight the Wolves will be taking on Nick Young and the Los Angeles Lakers. The starting lineups should look something like this:
PG – Ricky Rubio vs. Steve Nash
SG – Kevin Martin vs. Steve Blake
SF – Nick “Swaggy P” Young vs. Corey Brewer
PF – Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Love
C – Chris Kaman vs. Zod Pekovic
Nash didn’t play in the Lakers’ last game against the Pelicans–a 96-85 Lakers loss in New Orleans. I don’t think Nash is hurt, but rather that Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is resting him the second night of back-to-backs. Or something. If that’s the case, Nash should be playing tonight against the Wolves.
Even at Nash’s advanced age, it will be fun to watch him match up with Ricky Rubio. (Eds. Note: Let’s hope that Nash will be feeling charitable, and will give Rubio some shooting tips before the game. Steve is still really good at shooting. Ricky is still really bad. Don’t let Nash’s small-sample 28% FG% fool you. Dude’s a *potential* killer if you leave him. )
Kevin Love vs Pau Gasol
This is the marquee matchup tonight. Love is second in the League in scoring and first in rebounding, at 27.2 and 14.7 per, through six games. In small sample-size theater, Gasol–the frequent protagonist in K-Love trade rumors in times past–is putting up a career-worst 12 and 10 through LAL’s first seven games. Gasol looks entirely out of sync with whatever it is that this Laker team is doing. Look for Love to have another huge game, especially given that he’s playing live and in person in front of the Los Angeles crowd he so strives to impress.
A question for readers: What happens first? A Gasol trade, or Mike D’Antoni’s firing?
An “X-factor” (sorry) in tonight’s game could be Lakers reserve Xavier Henry. Henry, like the Lakers team itself, has had his ups and down so far this season. But he’s demonstrated an ability to score and help lead LAL to victories: In the Lakers’ three victories, Henry has averaged 14.3 points; in their four losses, he’s averaged 7 points.
With the Wolves’ lack of depth at the three, keep a close eye on how the second unit handles Henry.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the tilt.