Lakers Vs. Warriors Preview: Lakers Look To Go Above .500 On The Season Reviewed by Momizat on . After receiving news that Kobe Bryant would be out at least six weeks with a fracture in his left knee, most expected the Los Angeles Lakers to tank in anticipa After receiving news that Kobe Bryant would be out at least six weeks with a fracture in his left knee, most expected the Los Angeles Lakers to tank in anticipa Rating: 0
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Lakers Vs. Warriors Preview: Lakers Look To Go Above .500 On The Season

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Lakers vs Warriors

After receiving news that Kobe Bryant would be out at least six weeks with a fracture in his left knee, most expected the Los Angeles Lakers to tank in anticipation of this year’s draft. However, the Kobe-less Lakers have a winning record and it continued last night in an impressive 104-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Heading into Oakland tonight, the Lakers have an opportunity to go above the .500 mark against the Golden State Warriors and earn the ninth spot in the Western Conference. With this being the second game of a back-to-back, the Lakers hope to generate enough energy on both ends of the court to avoid losing by 31 points like they did earlier in the season.

Frontcourt: Through the first 27 games, David Lee has had another strong season — averaging 17.8 points and 9.9 rebounds. Lee is a offensive weapon, but his defense leaves much to be desired. Look for Pau Gasol to have another strong game tonight. While most expected Andrew Bogut to struggle with injuries once again, he has remained healthy and has provided the Warriors with a strong defensive presence in the middle. Bogut is the anchor for the Warriors defense, but on offense he hasn’t fit in well with the Warrior’s small ball mentality. Bogut clogs the lane which limits the pick and roll opportunities for David Lee.

With Andre Iguodola just returning from hamstring issues and still getting in sync with the rest of the team, second-year forward Harrison Barnes stepped up during his absence and is averaging 12.7 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench. Iguodala is a lock down defender who is a jack of all trades but a master of none. The Warriors are a much better defense team with him in the line-up.

Backcourt: The Warriors obviously have one of the best backcourts in the league led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. In only his fifth year, Curry is averaging a near double double with 24.5 points and 9.3 assists and is primed to join the 50-40-90 club this season.

Although he has struggled from the field and is only shooting 35 percent these past five games, Thompson has exploded against the Lakers in their first two meetings. The shooting guard has averaged 28.5 points on 54 percent shooting and will look to break out of his slump against his father’s former team.

Keys to Lakers’ Victory:
Limit Turnovers: In last night’s victory against the Timberwolves, the Lakers had 19 turnovers that lead to 23 points. While the Lakers don’t have a true point guard in the rotation, it will be extremely important to limit turnovers especially on the road against a high-octane offense. If the Lakers are able to keep the Warriors in the halfcourt, they’ll have a chance.

The New Dynamic Duo: With Kobe Bryant out, the Lakers will have to rely on Pau Gasol and Nick Young. In last night’s game, the duo combined for 46 points and made numerous plays down the stretch to secure the victory. While Young has played extremely well off the bench, Gasol’s emergence has been key for the Lakers. After recovering from an ankle injury, the Spaniard is averaging 17.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.

Chris Kaman: After being out of the rotation in favor of Robert Sacre, Kaman played extremely well in 16 minutes and head coach Mike D’Antoni expects him to be part of the rotation moving forward. While Sacre will still receive minutes for his defensive abilities, Kaman provides the Lakers with a true offensive threat next to Gasol. With Bogut wanting to stay in the paint, Kaman’s ability to shoot from 15 feet will force the Warriors center to come outside and open driving lanes for his teammates.

Los Angeles Lakers (13-13) at Golden State Warriors (14-13)
7:30 PM PST, December 21, 2103
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
Radio: 710 ESPN (English)/ 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

Warriors Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: David Lee
C: Andrew Bogut

Key Reserves: SF: Harrison Barnes SF: Draymond Green PF: Marreese Speights

Lakers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Xavier Henry
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Wesley Johnson
PF: Jordan Hill
C: Pau Gasol

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About The Author

Dan Duangdao is the Editor-in-Chief of Lakers Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DanDuangdao

Number of Entries : 451
  • quickster007

    The Lakers will stay below 500.

  • jeremy

    lakers just need to play like they did last night. also i hope the Marshall get some min today.

  • jeremy

    lakers dont have a true PG in the rotation ,however they need to get one in the rotation . who cares if he doesnt know the offense how much different is to the one the suns ran and even if it 10 min a game to start marshall should get playing time!!!. we shouldnt risk any more injures having guys play big min

    • kobe24

      I respectfully disagree, I like Kendall Marshall and I would love to see him play but this is not the game where he should be playing. No matter how well Marshall knows the MDA style he still does not know how to play with the guys (lack of training camp, etc etc )

      I think once Lakers have a 2~3 day rest he will train with the other guys then start playing but before that I don’t think MDA will play him

      • vdogg

        completely agree. unless it’s a blowout win or blowout loss, marshall should sit tonight. he should at least get one full practice in prior to playing. i would love to see him eventually run the second unit though, with farmar starting once he comes back.

  • J24

    I really want the Lakers to win tonight’s game, it would give them so much confidence going forward. Plus it would be the first time they win a back to back in a really long time. Anyone actually know when the Lakers won a back to back game?

    • kobe24

      last season i think on the last back2back haha

  • Lakers Fan

    If they play the way they played last night(offensively/defensively) and keep the shooters off the three point line, then they should be able to win this game. It will be tough since we are at their house, but with heart and effort anything is possible. In this game, it will start and finish with the defensive side of the ball.

  • rik

    Next years laker team:
    PG: bledsoe/farmar/marshall
    SG: kobe/ henry/ meeks
    SF: deng/ young
    PF: monroe/ johnson/ kelly
    C: hawes/ Hill/ sacre

  • Gregory Choa

    As nice a feel-good game as last night’s win was, the Lakers gave up WAYYYY too many second chance points and did a poor job securing their defensive boards…almost allowing Pekovic to single-handedly decimate them. The Lakers have to do a much better job taking care of the basketball and working the defensive glass if they’re going to beat this Warrior team on the road.

    That said, there is no doubt the team chemistry is so much better with the young guys not necessarily deferring to Kobe and without Kobe methodically working the two-man game with Pau to the exclusion of others. The success of D’Antoni’s system is much more reliant on a ton of ball movement and a less methodical free-flowing style of play.

    I hope it continues in Oakland tonight.

  • Jack N.

    Lakers squad for next season might look like this.Young fast and athletic loaded.
    Lakers Possibly Make Moves In Free Agency For Big Contender In 2014-2015

    Sorry but i can’t count on Kobe Bryant anymore,his injuries are serious and he is up their in age and he is old 35 going on 36.Father Time is undefeated.I love Kobe like the rest of the fans,but it’s no guarantee with his health anymore.Steve Nash will retire or get a stretch provision buy out to clear six million dollars in cap space.

    PG Jordan Farmar,Kendall Marshall,Xavier Henry
    SG Kobe Bryant,Jodie Meeks,Nick Young,Xavier Henry
    SF Wesley Johnson,Xavier Henry
    PF Carmelo Anthony,2014 First Round Draft Pick,Jordan Hill
    C Marcin Gortat,Jordan Hill,Robert Sacre

    How this all works is like this.

    Re-sign Famar $2.5 million bucks
    Re-sign Jodie Meeks $2.0 million bucks
    Re-sign Xavier Henry $3.5 million bucks
    Re-sign Wesley Johnson $3.5 million bucks
    Re-sign Jordan Hill $6.0 million bucks per season
    Nick Young picks up player option $1.2 million bucks per season
    Pick up team option on Kendall Marshall $1.2 million bucks
    Draft a power forward big man Julius Randle,Aaron Gordon,Adreian Payne,Joel Embiid,Willie Cauley-Stein are all options in the 2014 draft for the Lakers to help replace their big man Pau Gasol at power forward/center.
    Sign Carmelo Anthony to a max contract paying him $20,513,178 bucks
    Sign Marcin Gortat to be the new starting center for the Lakers $7.5 bucks

    Altogether the Lakers will add salary but with bird rights for Jordan Hill and other their will most likely be no problem keeping the crew intact while adding Carmelo Anthony and Marcin Gortat.Pau Gasol,Nash,Steve Blake will hopefully all be gone by then so this could happen.Kobe,Sacre,Marshall have contracts for next season as does Nash but he will be stretched out most likely.This would be a great squad to watch play and hopefully Kobe can get over his health issues by then if not we will still be very good.

  • Jim213

    If the Lakers can play a similar type of game as the Spurs (Duncan/Ginobli sat out) while beating the Spurs with their bench players they’ll have better odds off pulling out a win today. A big portion of their (GSW) offensive style revolves around the guards however they also do a good job of moving the ball (Curry/assist).

    The Lakers will need to OUT HUSTLE the Warriors on the boards (GSW 6th in NBA) to LIMIT second chance opportunities (Bogut and Lee avg. 10 pg). Aside of the guards Lee, Barnes, and Iguadola are the other offensive contributors for the Warriors (10+ avg). If the Lakers can limit TO’s!, out hustle the Warriors, limit 2nd chance opportunities, and shoot more consistently today they’ll have better odds of beating the Warriors.

    IMO, Wesley Johnson has to play big today on the defensive end aside of playing better offensively. Pau will have to step up his game again given the depletion at the PG position to have better odds of an inside out game as Young needs to play his style though prove difficult more so today with the players defending him on the floor today. IMO, this should be a fun game to watch as it may come down to limiting the guards scoring opportunities and beating GS on the BOARDS!

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