Pre-Game Report: Lakers vs. Warriors

Written by: Kevin Chan

Warriors Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Dorrell Wright
PF: David Lee
C: Andris Biedrins

Key Reserves: Reggie Williams, Rodney Carney, Brandan Wright

Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher will have their hands full with the dynamic back-court twosome of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis when the Lakers meet the Warriors on Halloween night.

Trick or Treat?

Treat: the Warriors can flat out score. In their season opener, they dropped 132 points on the Rockets, to which Ellis contributed 46 and Curry 25.

Trick: the Warriors have trouble defending. Although Golden State prevailed on opening night, they allowed Houston 128 points on 47% shooting.

One might surmise that rookie head coach Keith Smart is going for the run and gun philosophy ñ to outscore the opponent with an all-out offensive onslaught ñ but the verdict is still pending on the young coach. Over the summer, veteran head coach Donnie Nelson stepped down, which opened the door for Smart. Biedrins, a former resident of Donnieís doghouse, is hoping for a revival under the new coaching system. The addition of all star PF David Lee means that the Warriors finally have some semblance of a frontcourt. Dorrell Wright, a glue guy, rounds out the starting roster and does the important dirty work that doesnít necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

Consistent with the Warriors starters, the bench is made up of offensive-minded players. They avoid playing defense like a fat kid avoids exercise. Williams can score in bunches and Wright is a young player with talent, but is still very raw.

Keys to Laker Victory:

This will be a true defensive test for the Lakers frontcourt, who will have to dig deep to keep the speedy duo of Ellis and Curry from penetrating the paint. In game one, Blake showed that he is a more reliable and capable defender than the recently departed Farmar. To avoid getting burned on defense, Brown will need to focus on fundamentals and positioning, rather than relying on his athleticism.  One would hope that Kobe’s knee is well enough so he can keep up with Monta.

The Lakers have never defended the pick and roll well, and the Warriors will look to exploit that weakness. Gasol and Odom will need to do their part to hedge out on high screens and switch accordingly. Expect both Laker bigs to be able to score at will in the paint. If the Lakers can stop the guards and secure defensive rebounds, they should have little trouble outscoring the defensiveless Warriors.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
6:30 PST
TV: FS West
Radio: 710/1330 AM ESPN

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