The (4-4) Los Angeles Lakers return to the Staples Center to host the (2-4) Golden State Warriors. The purple and gold are seeking to bounce back from another disappointing loss in Portland at the Rose Garden. The loss was the tale of two halves; the Lakers started fast and finished very slow. However, the game was lost in the third quarter.
The Warriors are a young team with first year head coach Mark Jackson at the helm. A good thing for the Lakers, but unfortunate for the Warriors they will play tonight’s game without the services of their talented point guard Stephen Curry. Warriors coach Mark Jackson has given indications that he will start rookie Charles Jenkins at point guard in Curry’s absence. Monta Ellis appears to be the primary ball-handler whenever Curry was off the court.
The Lakers won last year’s season series 3-1 after sweeping the previous year’s series. The Lakers have actually swept four of the last six season series and have not lost a season series to the Warriors dating back to the 1994-1995 season. The Lakers are 26-4 against Warriors in their last 30 games.
It has been almost four years since the Warriors beat the Lakers in Los Angeles, CA.
Golden State did snap a 12-game losing streak against the Lakers with a win in their most recent game on 4/6/11. The Lakers will have to slow down Monta Ellis. Ellis is a shoot-first, lightning-quick combo guard with a solid mid-range game that can score. Ellis is the Warriors leading scorer at 23.8 points per game; Ellis erupted for 38 points in their last game.
The Warriors are another young, athletic team that wants to get out in transition and run the Lakers off the floor. Monta Ellis, Dorell Wright and rookie Klay Thompson can knock down outside shots.
Klay Thompson, for those that do not know, is one of former Lakers player and now radio color analyst Mychael Thompson’s sons. Klay Thompson has had a rough start to his NBA career. However, Thompson is a lights-out shooter with unlimited range.
The fastest way for the Lakers to increase their win total is to play better defensively. The purple and gold have to end the trend of double-digit turnovers, terrible three-point shooting and being out-scored in points in the paint with two seven-footers.
The Lakers have to be solid defending the pick-and-roll-play, stop the dribble penetration, control the tempo and get back in transition. The Lakers have to improve their ball movement and player movement to find high percentage shots. The purple and gold have to control the boards, not provide the Warriors with multiple shots and rotate out to open shooters.
The Lakers bench has to get involved and become a factor. The reserves are receiving shots and have to start knocking them down, 5-24 leaves a lot of room for improvement. The Lakers big three of Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are producing, 70 points against the Blazers, but their in need of more help from their teammates than 26 points.
The Lakers have to start their offense in the post. The purple and gold have to establish both Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol in the painted area and force the Warriors to adjust to the onslaught. Tonight’s game should be a total team effort for the Lakers who should play with energy and force their will on the Warriors early.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, M. Barnes, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Warriors: C. Jenkins, M. Ellis, D. Wright, D. Lee, K. Brown
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Bill Macdonald & Stu Lantz)
- Golden State: CSN Bay (Jim Barnett & Bob Fitzgerald)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
- Golden State: KNBR 680 (Tim Roye)
- Derrick Caracter (Torn Lateral Meniscus, Left Knee) Out
- Kobe Bryant (Torn Lunotriquetral Ligament, Right Wrist) Probable
- Pau Gasol (Sprained Right Shoulder) Probable
- Josh McRoberts (Sprained Left Thumb & Left Big Toe) Doubtful
- Matt Barnes (Bursitis, Left Hip) Day-to-Day
- Stephen Curry (Sprained Ankle) Out
- Andris Biedrins (Sprained Ankle) Day-to-Day
- David Lee ( Illness) Day-to-Day