Both teams are hot.
Stephen Curry, arguably the face of the Warriors, is hitting threes from literally everywhere on the court. David Lee, who is playing at an all-star level, is the midst of his best stretch of basketball. Plus, he’s averaging a double-double.
On the other side, Steve Nash is coming back for the Lakers tonight, Kobe Bryant continues his superstar play, and Pau Gasol has quieted the critics with his recent play.
This is going to be an interesting game. For the Warriors, it’s always mental against the Lakers. No matter how poorly they’re playing, Golden State always seem to get into the mindset that the Lakers are unbeatable. Truth be told, big name players like don’t always translate into wins. After all, they are 12-14, looking on the outside in of the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Warriors, on the other hand, are 18-9, off to one of the best starts in the history of their franchise. So, they should be able to put up a battle.
However, size could be a problem.
When the Lakers traded away Andrew Bynum, they gave one of the 7-foot giants away. They did, however, acquire a new one in Dwight Howard. Hopefully the Warriors won’t have to resort to the hack-a-Dwight, as they are very undersized.
The problem for the Warriors will be containing Kobe Bryant. Ever since Pau Gasol returned, the Lakers have regained their confidence, and are currently on a three-game winning streak. Kobe Bryant’s numbers have ballooned, and he’s averaging around 28 points per game, which leads the league. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson is averaging right around 16 PPG, but when they need him, he is there.
The problem for the Lakers is depth. Compared to the Warriors, LA’s bench is extremely feeble. With Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry coming off the bench for the Warriors, opposing team’ benches rarely their production.
Expect a high-octane at Oracle tonight, as the Lakers always cause a stir in the Bay Area when they come to town.
Matchup to Watch: Klay Thompson vs Kobe Bryant (Klay Thompson, actually, has been silently playing very good defense. He also has a 2-inch size advantage on Bryant. The NBA does, however, respect Bryant, so Thompson could pick up some quick fouls.)
Players to Watch: Steve Nash, Klay Thompson, Kobe Bryant
Leading Scorer: Kobe Bryant 34 points
Winner: Lakers pull a 5 point victory
1. Stephen Curry vs Steve Nash
2. Klay Thompson vs Kobe Bryant
3. Harrison Barnes vs Darius Morris
4. David Lee vs Pau Gasol
5. Festus Ezeli vs Dwight Howard