The Lakers blew a 19-point lead the last time they faced the Warriors. Will the Dubs get another W?
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (23-11, 10-7 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG – Dennis Schroder
- SG – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF – LeBron James
- PF – Markieff Morris
- C – Marc Gasol
The defending champs have created some breathing room, but they are still reeling from a slump. Before beating the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, 102-93, they were 1-5 in their last six games. It was ugly too – three of the losses were by double-digits and the other two were against teams with a losing record.
Much of it is definitely because Anthony Davis’s absence, as well as the pressure of knowing he’ll be gone for roughly three more weeks. Starting guard Dennis Schroder also missed four of those six outings and just returned in the recent win.
While the win may have calmed the Lakers down, though, there’s an added pressure on tomorrow’s match-up. They lost to the Warriors in their previous meeting by squandering a 19-point lead – and that was when Davis was healthy.
Let’s see if LeBron James becomes passive yet again, although he’s scoring a good 26.5 points, 9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists on 52% shooting since AD got sidelined. Either way, look for Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma to be the top secondary weapons.
The Lakers are only averaging 103.2 PPG since AD got injured (six games).
ROAD TEAM: Golden State Warriors (19-15, 7-9 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG – Stephen Curry
- SG – Andrew Wiggins
- SF – Kelly Oubre
- PF – Draymond Green
- C – Kevon Looney
The Warriors are riding a season-high, three-game winning streak. They are scoring 118.3 PPG on 50.3% shooting in that stretch.
Along with all that momentum is that memory of that victory they stole on the Lakers last January. Everyone was hitting shots in the fourth quarter as they collectively went 14-for-23 from the field (60.3%). Kelly Oubre Jr., who’s had a bevy of dreadful shooting nights, had his best game of the season at that point and punched in a then-season-high 23 points. He should be pretty confident tomorrow.
But, of course, Stephen Curry is the man to look at. He has rightfully moved a couple of spots higher in the MVP race, and this game will be another proof that he’s a serious candidate. Curry put up 33.4 points and 5.6 threes per game in February. That tear may very well carry on moving forward.
Curry and company will come out confident and swinging big. Look for Curry to score big, and for that to add into Oubre Jr. and Wiggins’s play.
The Warriors got this, 112-106.