A few observations ( and questions ) after the game

First off...

1. Greg had about the best opener we could have asked for. He scored very efficiently ( and ferociously ), shot well from the free throw line, and was just overall an intimidating force you could tell the kings were frustrated with ( and this is just his first game! ). He did the things that good centers do that dont show up in the stats as well, like sealing off the baseline, rotating on defense ( which I noticed surprised the guards and wing players when they saw he could keep up with them when he switched on the pick and roll ). He definitely impacted the game.

2. Rudy was a revelation. You can tell he understands the game better than most players. Much like brandon, he didn't force anything. He took what the defense gave him. 6 points and 5 assists don't sound like game changing numbers, but he was a part of almost every single play on the court when he was in the game. I loved how the fans almost seemed to be laughing during his spectacular plays, almost as if to say, "do we really have this guy on our roster? I can't believe it!"

Now for some speculation...

3. Rudy and Sergio obviously have a level of communicating on the court beyond words. They seemed to anticipate what the other was going to do. Most certainly Nate will try to get them on the court together plenty.

4. Sergio seemed like a different player. He had a moxy that I hadn't seen before, as well as being dangerouly efficient. He was deadly from the 3 point line, and found the cutters and open man every play it seemed. Might Sergio be the go-to back up point guard in the rotation? Or will his defense get trumped by the tenacity of the firecracker that is Bayless?

5. Martell scores off a Rudy dime...and then another...and then another...wait, it's these 2 guys again and again! Rudy seemed to be looking for Marty coming off screens and cutting. It was during this scoring stretch that the game got out of hand scorewise. They seemed to play really well together. I know it's only one pre-season game, but if this trend continues, might Trout get the starting 3 spot simply to try and put Marty and Rudy together? Will how well players play together dictate the template rotations more than an overall game plan or vision by Nate?

6. Ike looked pretty good. He was bangin', brawlin, and hustling. Every team needs a player or two like this off the bench. I think he will win a game or two for us this year. Will Ike's physical style of play greatly take away from Channing's minutes? Obviously the choice between these two young forwards will depend on the match-up, but the 4 position usually benefits greatly from hard nosed physical play. I can see Ike getting a great deal of minutes when playing teams like Boston, with deep, productive big men rotations. We shall wait and see.

7. Steven Hill was pretty invisible, as was Shavlik Randolph in their few respective minutes. However Randolph looked a little more active on the offensive end. I would bet money that Tatum is NOT going to get the final roster spot. I'm sure KP and Nate both agree that a big is the most desirable for the final spot, given the unproven health of Oden, and some of our other bigs to boot. Jackson didn't even play, which leads me to believe the final spot is between Randolph and Hill. Who will get the final roster spot? My money is still on Hill, but Randolph had a dunk that looked pretty decent. Steven Hill should get the spot based on his powerful beard alone. Props to him for keeping it wolf. His nickname should be "Teen-Wolf" if he makes the roster.


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