Written by: Lena Adebowale
The Golden State Warriors are the next team on the Lakers chopping block. Oracle Arena is the designated battle ground for the fourth and final meeting of the season. The Lakers currently lead the season series 3-0. In fact, the Lakers have won the previous 12 match-ups between the Warriors. If history repeats itself, the young Warriors from Oakland will have their hands full as they attempt to defeat the defending champion Lakers. Twelfth in the Western Conference standings, the Warriors have already been eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, the upcoming game against the Lakers is merely an exhibition and an unlikely upset.
Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry lead the Warriors with a combined season average of 21 points and 5 assists per game. The Lakers back court will need to play great defense. Ellis and Curry are extremely talented and can light up the stats sheet and an opposing defender. The Warriors are playing well and have defeated two playoff teams within the last week. Ellis dropped 32 points during the Warriors win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, and Curry put 28 points on the board in the win over the Portland Trail Blazers last night.
Other notable players that the Lakers will need to watch closely are Warriors forward/center, David Lee, and forwards Dorell Wright and Lou Amundson. The Warriors acquired Lee from the Knicks last year and he has proven to be quite an asset in the front court. He averages over 16 points and 9 rebounds per game. Although David Lee is a skilled player and can score points, he is a bit under sized for the center position and should not be a problem for Lakers big men.
Dorell Wright is the third leading scorer on the Warriors, and he is shooting over 40 percent from the field this season. There is no doubt that Wright is good, but the strength and defense of Ron Artest will certainly make Wright feel wrong. Some may be surprised at the mention of Lou Amundson. However, if we take a look back at his impact on the Lakers when he played in Phoenix, this guy can be a nuisance. Amundson does not mind getting physical in the paint. He is what I affectionately call a ‘clean-up man,’ or the player who has the ability to collect big offensive rebounds which give his team second and third chance points.
Still, the Warriors are going to need more than Ellis, Curry, Lee, Wright and Amundson to defeat the Lakers. The experience and ability of the reigning champions will be difficult to overcome. In addition, the Lakers have lost their last two games and certainly plan to turn things around. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they are simply pawns on the Lakers championship chess board.