Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It is March 27, 2012 and the (30-19) Los Angeles Lakers have traveled to Oakland, CA for a run against (20-27) Golden State Warriors. The Lakers had a subpar effort against the Grizzlies, never matched the intensity of their opponent, which resulted in a 102-96 loss, their second home loss in seven days.

The Grizzlies had seven players score in double-digits, out-rebounded the Lakers 42-38, Memphis won the points in the paint battle 52-36 and the Grizzlies reserves emphatically out-scored the Lakers reserves 41-9. Tonight’s meeting is the first of two in the next six days.

The Lakers lead the season series with the Warriors (1-0, winning 97-90 on 1/6/12), L.A. won last year’s series 3-1. The Lakers have swept four of the last six season series with the Warriors and have not lost a season series to the Warriors since losing 2-3 loss in the 1994-1995 season. The Lakers are 27-4 in the last 31 games against Golden State. The Lakers had their 12-game winning streak against the Warriors snapped in an 87-95 defeat on 4/6/11.

The Lakers have gone 8-2 against the Warriors in their last 10 games at the Oracle Arena. In 56 games (including 47 starts) against the Warriors, Kobe Bryant is averaging 27.1 points per game, his third highest average among all teams behind Charlotte, Toronto and Portland.

The Warriors are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Golden State has an 11-13 record at the Oracle Arena, 7-4 in the Pacific Division and 13-17 against the Western Conference. The Warriors are a team whose roster appears to be stuck in a state of ceaseless change. The Warriors are out of the NBA playoff picture.

Since the last meeting, the Warriors have traded away guard Monta Ellis and have been starting rookie Klay Thompson (the son of former player and current Lakers radio color analyst Mychal Thompson, who played his prep basketball locally at Santa Margarita HS in Orange County). Thompson has responded scoring in double-digits in the last six games including a 31-point outburst on 3/24/12 against the Sacramento Kings.

The Warriors are 3-6 since the Monta Ellis trade. David Lee is posting solid numbers for Golden State, but the Warriors do not have the personnel to deal with the Lakers frontline. Tonight’s game provides the Lakers an opportunity to fix what ails them. Establish Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the painted area and allow them to go to work. Gasol’s jump shot has been off in the last two games, it is time for him to catch the ball closer to the basket.

Tonight’s game provides Ramon Sessions and Kobe Bryant to improve their continuity. The Lakers effort, intensity and execution on defense have to improve. The Lakers have to play with a high energy level and play with a sense of urgency and match the intensity of their opponent. It is imperative that the Lakers ball movement and player movement greatly improve. To be successful, the Lakers have to make precise passes to limit their turnovers, defend, control the boards, win the points in the paint battle and receive a huge impact from their bench.

Starters
Lakers: R. Sessions, K. Bryant, M. Peace, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Warriors:
C. Jenkins, K. Thompson, D. Wright, D. Lee, J. Tyler

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Bill Macdonald & Stu Lantz)
  • Golden State: CSN Bay (Jim Barnett & Bob Fitzgerald)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
  • Golden State: KNBR 680 (Tim Roye & Jim Barnett)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Jordan Hill (Sprained MCL, Right Knee) Questionable

Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry (Ankle Sprain) Out
  • Andris Biedrins (Groin) Day-to-Day
  • Nate Robinson (Hamstring) Day-to-Day
  • Andrew Bogut (Ankle) Out