Is Kathy Bates in the house, because the Los Angeles Lakers are in pure misery right now. L.A. dropped seven of its last eight games after Thursday night’s 21-point loss to the Clippers, their co-tenants sweeping the four game season series. Next, the Western Conference-elite will have the Warriors vs Lakers this Saturday evening,
As bad as the Lakers have been, fighting just to stay in the play-in tournament hunt, Golden State has had its issues as of late as well. After losing Thursday in Dallas, the Warriors are just 2-7 in their last nine games. Part of those struggles were due to the inconsistencies of Klay Thompson being in and out of the lineup with what was described as a “general illness”.
Draymond Green’s calf injury has also hindered the Warriors lately, they’re not in dire straits. With a record of 43-20, Golden State is second to runaway Phoenix in the conference. It’s not like the Lakers aren’t dealing with ailments of their own, with “Street Clothes” Anthony Davis out until at least the end of the month with an ankle injury.
Perhaps Saturday is a tale of two defenses, with Golden State leading in the NBA in defensive efficiency and the Lakers leaking. Shooting guards have torched the Lakers lately, with Jalen Brunson scoring 22, Terrance Mann (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Donovan Mitchell (37 points) among the villains.
The Lakers’ struggling against shooting guards should bode well for Thompson. These two teams met about three weeks ago, a closely-contested 117-115 Golden State win at home. Thompson went for 33 points in that game, hitting 5-of-9 from three-point range.
Steph Curry had 24 points for Golden State in that previous meeting with the Lakers, offset by 26 from Lebron James. The Warriors won, 121-114, back in October, when Los Angeles had way less drama. James and Davis combined for 67 points, the Lakers losing, anyway
Los Angeles being home isn’t even an advantage right now. The boobirds were out in full force in L.A’s 123-95 loss to the Pelicans last Sunday, with James and Russell Westbrook getting into verbal altercations with fans. With cratering L.A. in ninth place in the West, maybe Jack Nicholson is right when he’s sitting courtside saying, “You can’t handle the truth.”
There’s no arguing L.A. has some talent in James, Westbrook and Davis (in the two healthy games he plays per year). However, the Warriors, especially if Thompson is back in the lineup, have the edge.