The (11-3) Los Angeles Lakers will be in the bay area tonight; Oakland to be exact, to face the (5-9) Warriors. Tonight’s game will be the first of the four game series against the Warriors.
The Warriors have shown signs of improvement by recently beating both Portland and Dallas. The game against the Mavericks being the most impressive; the Warriors won in Dallas with a total of six active players due to multiple injuries, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in the league since the Baltimore Bullets did it back in 1952. The team has played well despite dealing with a banged up roster. Golden State’s Head Coach Don Nelson is out and has been diagnosed with Pneumonia; so the team will be coached by top assistant coach Keith Smart.
The Lakers have beaten the Warriors 14 of the last 16 meeting by outplaying them and destroying this team on the boards. The Lakers with two seven footers will have a size advantage again and should keep the streak alive by owning the glass.
The Lakers beat the Knicks 100-90 on Tuesday with Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum & Lamar Odom combining for 40 rebounds. Kobe Bryant is the second leading scorer in the association averaging 30 points per game, but I have a feeling that he will exceed that number tonight.
It is a known fact that the Warriors can score; they’re the third best scoring team in the league but also hold the dubious distinction of allowing the most points as well.
Los Angeles will have to slow down Guard Monta Ellis, who is one of the top scorers in the league possessing the speed and quickness to be very dangerous. It appears that he is the unquestioned team leader who has put this team on his shoulders.
The Lakers have been dominating offensively and have played solid defense with the return of Pau Gasol. However, with all the good things the team has given the coaching staff a lot to talk about with entirely too many turnovers (25 against the Knicks) and a bench that hasn’t shown up consistently.
It is becoming a trend with the team that the starters will play well, establish a large lead and then the reserves will come in, not play well and cause said lead to disappear.
The Warriors play an up tempo-style and want to get out in transition on every occasion so consequently for the Lakers transition defense will be paramount. The Lakers have to get back in transition and match up.
Los Angeles really has to control the tempo tonight and force Golden State to set up and run their half-court offense, hopefully, this will take the crowd out of the game. The Warriors like to feed off of the energy on the home crowd.
The Lakers are playing to their advantage when the team runs their offense from the inside out. Los Angeles will get the ball inside to both Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol in post and allow them to go to work. The Warriors have no answer for this tactic in terms of size, defense to stop it or match up.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (HD)
- Golden State: CSN Bay (HD)
- Los Angeles: KABC 790 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Golden State: KNBR 680 (Tim Roye & Jim Barnett)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- Andris Biedrins (Abdominal Strain)