The Lakers will now take their show on the road for about the next two weeks and 6 games.
But they’re not leaving the state just yet. First on the map? San Francisco as they take on the Golden State Warriors.
Surprisingly, this is the first time they’re facing the Dubs. As is tradition, the Lakers will take on the Warriors four times this season so they’ll be seeing them a lot more in the next two and a half months. Maybe even more should they have a playoff rematch.
Like the Lakers, the Warriors are going through their own midseason crisis; they are 19-23 thus far. It is an aging core that decided to add more years of experience. They dealt Jordan Poole to get Chris Paul.
But it’s not just the aging the Warriors have had to deal with. Draymond Green has already been suspended twice. First, he was docked five games for choking Rudy Gobert. And then he was penalized much longer after hitting Jusuf Nurkic. He’s back on the court now but you just never know what he’s going to do. As for Klay Thompson, he is doing okay but he just appears… older. He’s still averaging 17.2 points per and shooting .387 from three but that defense is no longer great and has gone through some droughts over the season.
It’s not all bad for these Warriors. Stephen Curry is still amazing and he’s always one to watch. And Jonathan Kuminga is having a breakout season. The athletic Kuminga is going through the best stretch of his young career. He’s averaged 25.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in his last five games.
Their first round pick, Brandin Podziemski, is having a nice rookie season (9.2 points, 5.4 rebounds). Dario Saric is shooting .416 from three and is averaging double digits (10.5 points). And Kevon Looney continues to be the rock in the middle.
But the Dubs have a lot of injuries happening. They lost Paul earlier this month due to a hand injury but he should be back soon. Gary Payton II has a hamstring problem while Moses Moody has a calf injury. Obviously, they won’t be playing on Saturday night.
Still, it’s not like they’re capable. It helps to have Stephen Curry; he can keep a team in a game simply because of his shooting, range, and playmaking. And their three-point game can overwhelm anybody; they are fourth in both made threes and attempts.
And of course, that should be a main concern for the Lakers. They still tend to leave three-point shooters open and they absolutely cannot do this against the Warriors, who have won four titles in the last decade with this kind of game plan. But of course, we still worry about the energy of the Lakers. They have won four of six games so they’ve been better about it as of late. But there’s always that chance that the Lakers that played the Nets in the second half will show up once again. Consistency has been such a problem with these Lakers this season.
Still, Anthony Davis will be a great equalizer against the Warriors. He should be fed all over the place. And the Warriors will have trouble containing him; we saw that occur in last year’s postseason match-up.
This will be a showcase on national TV on Saturday night. We’ll see who will buckle under the great lights and we’ll see whose problems will be shown for everyone to see.