The Golden State Warriors are already playing at an elite level. The reigning Western Conference champions made easy work of the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night in Las Vegas. The high-powered offense led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant got out to a 74-47 lead heading into halftime and never looked back. Veteran newcomer Luol Deng believes these kinds of losses, and the fact it was against a team the Lakers intend to emulate, is the reason why preseason games are played and will be a learning experience for this young team.
“This is why you have preseason,” Luol Deng said. “… You learn from things like this. The offense they’re running they’ve been running for a while. This is not their first time.”
Although the Lakers were clearly no match for these Western Conference heavyweights, no team is expected to be heading into the 2016-17 NBA season. The Warriors are favored to win it all and for good reason after the acquisition of superstar Kevin Durant. Golden State has picked up right where they left off while being much improved with the addition of another perennial All-Star alongside Curry and company.
The Lakers won’t have long to lick their wounds from Saturday’s loss with the team set to travel to San Diego and face the Warriors for a second time on Oct. 19 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The learning experience will get back underway on Wednesday followed by the preseason finale on Oct. 21 against the Phoenix Suns at the Honda Center.
On Saturday, Draymond Green, David West, and Andre Iguodala didn’t play, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr may continue to rest players in their next meeting with the Lakers. Lou Williams, Jose Calderon, Yi Jianlian, and Metta World Peace didn’t see the floor in the final game in Las Vegas, and that may very well change on Wednesday.