The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the new-look Golden State Warriors, looking to break their recent slump and get back to their winning ways before the NBA All-Star Break.
The Lakers did not make any moves at the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline, meaning their roster and rotation will look the exact same. However, the Warriors changed just about everything, trading five players at the deadline and receiving only one in return.
The Warriors sent Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for three second round draft picks. And in their blockbuster trade, they sent D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, and Omari Spellman to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins and draft picks.
This means the Warriors team that the Lakers will play — which was already unrecognizable — will look nothing like any Warriors team they’ve seen in the past.
With Wiggins playing, he’ll likely see the offense run entirely through him. Draymond Green is questionable for this game with lower back tightness and Wiggins is now easily the team’s leading scorer with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson still sidelined.
The Lakers do not have any reported injuries for this game, meaning they’ll be healthy and can try to form some type of desperately needed rhythm heading to the All-Star Break.
Los Angeles is 2-3 in their last five games and just 5-5 in their last 10. They have three games remaining before the break and going 3-0 — which would include a win on the road against the Denver Nuggets — would be massively helpful in maintaining their No. 1 seed.
Holding on to the No. 1 seed would be vital for the success of the Lakers. Not so much because of homecourt advantage as the Lakers have been one of the best road teams all season, but because the difference between the No. 7 and No. 8 matchups is exponential.
Dropping to No. 2 could mean playing the Dallas Mavericks, who are 10 games over .500. The current No. 8 seed is the Memphis Grizzlies, who sit at exactly .500.
The Lakers are currently three games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the loss column, but still face them two more times.
All of this to say that matchups against teams like the Warriors — who are clearly inferior and depleted roster-wise — are must-wins at a time like this.
Los Angeles Lakers (38-12) vs. Golden State Warriors (12-40)
5:30 P.M. PT, Feb. 8, 2020
Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: ABC, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso
Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:
PG: Ky Bowman
SG: Damion Lee
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Eric Paschall
C: Draymond Green
Key Reserves: Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, Marquese Chriss