With only four games on Thursday night's schedule, one particular matchup stands out as a potential preview of things to come during the playoffs. The Lakers take on the Thunder at the Staples Center in a battle between a particularly strong road team and a squad that does an excellent job of defending their homecourt. Let's take a look around the Pacific Division to catch up on the latest news and happenings.
- The Warriors are in an unenviable position where finishing out the season on a strong note would cost the team a draft pick, writes Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News. Currently the ninth-worst team in the league, the Warriors would have to forfeit their lottery pick to the Jazz as compensation for a trade made in 2009 if they fail to finish the season as one of the seven worst teams by record. The Warriors received Marcus Williams, now playing in China, from the Nets with hopes of him developing into a replacement for Baron Davis.
- Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee says the construction of the Sacramento arena can take a step in the right direction come Tuesday when the Sacramento City Council votes on appropriating $6.5MM toward arena pre-development.
- John Hollinger of ESPN.com (Insider link) looks at how the addition of Ramon Sessions to the Lakers has stabilized the team's backcourt, but raises concern over the team's heavy reliance on players such as Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol with regard to their usage. Hollinger raises the point that Sessions arrival in Los Angeles has merely kept the Lakers from imploding due to the fact that the rest of the key players are exhausted from being completely overworked.