Lakers vs. Warriors
Warriors Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Dorrell Wright
PF: Vladamir Radmanovic
C: Andris Biedrins
Key Reserves: Reggie Williams (1.3 3PT), Rodney Carney, Brandan Wright
Injuries: David Lee
The Lakers return to Staples after a successful road trip and take on the Golden State Warriors.
Frontcourt: With David Lee out, the Warriors’ post game is suffering. Ex-Laker Radmanovic has been starting in place of Lee and the results have not been pretty; the Warriors have lost three of their last four. As some of you Laker fans might remember, Radmanovic was never a great defender. But, it looks like he has found a home in Golden State – his lack of defense makes him a perfect fit for the Warriors. Brandan Wright is expected to return from injury tonight and he will give the Warriors some depth along the frontline. Starting center, Biedrins, is a decent rebounder, but he doesn’t contribute much on the offensive end.
Backcourt: The last time the Lakers faced the Warriors, Steph Curry was sidelined with an injury. He will be in the line-up tonight and his quickness will cause trouble for the Lakers’ point guards. The majority of the Warriors’ scoring comes from the backcourt. Steph, Monta, and Dorrell combine for 63.2 pts per game which is 61% of the Warriors’ average total point output. Monta has been superb – he has a great midrange pull-up jumper and he can score at will; he racked up 40 points in their last game against the Knicks. Swingman Dorell Wright is the Warriors’ best defender who pours in 2.5 treys per game. Coach Smart said Wright is playing so well, he has trouble pulling him off the court; Wright plays the second most minutes on the team behind Ellis. Sixth man Williams is red hot from behind the arc, connecting on nine of his last fifteen treys for a scorching average of 60%.
Keys to Laker Victory:
If the Lakers can limit the Warriors’ backcourt this game will be a blow out. The key will be stopping Ellis and Curry from penetrating. We’ll see if Fisher, Blake, and Kobe are up to the task. Artest will need to do his part in preventing the easy three from the Warriors’ small forwards – Wright and Williams.
Gasol, Odom, and Artest should be able to bulldoze the undersized and defensively challenged Warrior frontline. In the same vein, the Lakers’ backcourt should drive to the rim aggressively and take advantage of the weak Warrior interior. Kobe and Gasol should have no trouble scoring at least 25 each in tonight’s game.
The Warriors haven’t improved their defense since their last meeting. Even though Wright has been an excellent defender, one man does not a team defense make. Expect the Lakers to put up plenty of points on the scoreboard.
Laker Injuries: Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff