While it may feel as though Monday night is solely about the Kobe Bryant jersey retirement ceremony, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors do have a game to play. Their meeting is the first of two this week.
Unlike their matchup in November, when the Lakers pressed the defending NBA champions into overtime, the Warriors will be short-handed. The team officially announced Draymond Green (right shoulder soreness), Shaun Livingston (sore right knee), Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness) and Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) are all out for Monday’s game.
Meanwhile, Nick Young, who recently suffered a concussion, was cleared to return against his former team. Young scored nine points in 14 minutes when he last faced the Lakers.
Green has only appeared in one of the Warriors’ past four games, which includes missing their last two. Pachulia has missed the last three games, while Curry has been out for two weeks. The game will be Livingston’s first time sitting due to injury.
Curry was projected to miss a minimum of two weeks with his ankle sprain, at which point he was to be re-evaluated. His absence prevents a second duel with Lonzo Ball, a dynamic that was created by LaVar Ball’s previous remarks.
Lonzo fared well through much of the first meeting with Curry, but the two-time MVP overcame an injury to his shooting hand and caught fire in overtime to help propel the Warriors to a win.
Without needing to worry about the game, Warriors starters who will already be in street clothes presumably will have a less-stressful experience watching the Lakers hang jerseys No. 8 and No. 24 in the rafters during halftime.
Conversely, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said the team was still sorting through the specifics on how or whether their players would be able to take in the moment.
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