The Los Angeles Lakers will face off against the Warriors for the second time in three days after losing to them on Thursday 120-105. In that game the Lakers had issues defensively and couldn’t stop either of the Splash Brothers; Curry and Thompson combined for 45 points on 68% shooting. Tonight the Lakers will look to shore up their defense and continue to work out their newer players like Lin, Randle, Price and Ed Davis. While wins and losses don’t matter in preseason, this can be a time where a team can start to develop good habits for the upcoming season. Hopefully the Lakers don’t get in the habit of giving up 120 points. Let’s jump into the analysis of tonight’s match-up.
Frontcourt: David Lee played well against the Lakers on Thursday – he was very efficient with 12 points on nine shot attempts and faced limited resistance in the paint. In addition to being the Warrior’s main scorer in the post, Lee is also a great rebounder. He is limited defensively which is why Bogut complements him well. Bogut was in great form on Thursday with four blocks and a steal. He’s the Warriors’ best rim protector and anchor of the defense.
At small forward the Warriors start the veteran Iguodala who is a stalwart defender and super athletic finisher. Iguodala only played 15 minutes on Thursday and probably will see his minutes limited to prevent any unfortunate injuries. Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green are the primary back-ups at forward. They’re both versatile players who can defend, rebound and shoot threes. Unlike the Lakers, the Warriors didn’t really have any notable additions to their roster so they aren’t testing out new players. It seems like they’re just working out the kinks in their rotation.
Backcourt: As mentioned above, the Splash Brothers absolutely torched the Lakers on Thursday. Curry and Thompson are talented scorers and the Lakers didn’t defend them well. Their back-ups look to be Shaun Livingston and Leondro Barbosa – both are out for preseason. Livingston is recovering from injury and Barbosa is resting since he played all summer at the FIBA World Cup. This opens up the door for newcomer Nemanja Nedovic to potentially earn a spot on the roster. He played 15 minutes off the bench on Thursday and had some nifty moves, but couldn’t finish in the paint.
Things To Watch For:
Back-up Point Guard: Combo guard Clarkson is out for a week after suffering a moderate calf strain. Meanwhile Ronnie Price is hoping to earn one of the final spots on the Lakers roster. He’s a veteran point guard who players smart and looked good in 26 minutes of playing time on Thursday. The Lakers really need to be three-deep at point guard since Nash, even while healthy, will have limited minutes. Look to see if Price can continue his strong play tonight.
Defense: The score for Thursday night’s game reawakened buried memories from the D’Antoni era. The Lakers didn’t defend well and the Warriors shot 56% as a team. In particular the Lakers were soft on the perimeter and didn’t close on three-point shots. The Warriors converted 57.1% of their threes. Clearly the Lakers will need to improve on the defensive end. I don’t care if it’s only preseason – the Lakers should not allow teams to score 120 points on them at any point.
Continued Frontcourt Development: Byron Scott is still figuring out his frontcourt rotation and it sounds like the starting line-up could change nightly depending on the match-up. Randle and Davis will definitely factor into the equation and both have showed some great things during the preseason. Davis is full of energy on the court and has great bounce for a big man. I can see him playing the energy role for the Lakers much like Kenneth Faried does on the Nuggets. Byron Scott said that Randle looked lost at times on the court on Thursday. Randle is still adjusting to the speed and athleticism of the NBA and it’s paramount that he get as many minutes in the preseason for his development.
Heading into tonight’s game, the Lakers are four-point underdogs according to Sportsbook.ag
Golden State Warriors (2-0) at Los Angeles Lakers (1-1)
6:30 PM PST, October 12, 2014
Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, CA
TV: TWC SN, NBA TV
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: PG: Shaun Livingston SF: Harrison Barnes PF: Draymond Green
Lakers Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Jeremy Lin
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Wesley Johnson
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Jordan Hill
Lakers Post-Game: Julius Randle Talks ‘Rookie Mistakes’ And Lapses