Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
If the Golden State Warriors had a completely healthy squad, this might be a marquee matchup tonight as the Warriors head south to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. But as things are now, it’s a matchup between the first and last place team’s in the league. Oh, what a difference one year makes.
The Los Angeles Lakers are 8-2 on the season, having just lost their second loss of the season since the opener, but they got back in the win column in their last game. They’ve been an impressive 4-1 at home at the Staples Center and hold a half-game advantage over the Utah Jazz for first place in the Western Conference.
The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, are dead last with a 2-9 record and come into Staples on a four-game skid. They are just 1-4 on the road and will be hoping to pick up their second win on the road tonight, but it certainly won’t be easy.
Time: 10 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Warriors: Omari Spellman (D), Jacob Evans, Damion Lee, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney (O)
Lakers: Anthony Davis (Q), Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins (O)
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
The Warriors got some good news recently with Draymond Green returning to the lineup, but unfortunately Green was unable to help the Warriors cool down the red-hot Utah Jazz on Monday.
Green had just four points and seven rebounds in the 122-108 loss in which they seemed to be outgunned from the start,
“It’s discouraging to be 2-9, but it’s a long season and there is no reason why we can’t get on a run, win some games and start to feel better about things,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Point guard D’Angelo Russell was one of the lone bright spots on the team on Monday as he finished with 33 points and eight assists in the game and was one of just four players to reach the double figures mark. The other three were Jordan Poole with 11, Marquese Chriss with 11 and Alec Burks, who had 10.
Eric Paschall, who had performed well in Green’s absence, finished with just eight points and six rebounds, which is a far cry in comparison to his averages when he was starting. The Warriors may want to look at ways to get him on the floor with the starting group, even if it means sliding Draymond Green over to small forward.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Los Angeles Lakers had their first loss since opening night on Sunday as the Toronto Raptors bested them 113-104. However, last night, they were able to get back in the win column against the Phoenix Suns, who have been impressive to start the season.
Lakers forward LeBron James, who had 19 points and 11 assists in the game, stressed the importance of the passing game in securing the win over Phoenix.
“It was key. We talked about it a lot over the last couple of days after the Toronto loss,” James said after the ga,e. “Yesterday we talked about how we could not only get good shots but great shots. Tonight, we showed that.”
The Lakers were led in scoring by Anthony Davis, who had 24 points and 12 assists. Kyle Kuzma, chipped in 23 off the bench, which will be important as he could get the start if the Lakers elect to sit Davis on tonight’s second part of a back-to-back.
Key Player Matchups
LeBron James vs. Glenn Robinson III
There should be no question that this is no doubt a matchup leaning heavily in James’ favor. James has been the Lakers’ MVP so far this season, while Glenn Robinson was signed to take on a significant role, and he has yet to really work out like the Warriors might have hoped. He’s had about two good games so far this season but has been largely inconsistent, while James continues to relish his role doing exactly what his team needs of him when it needs it.
Anthony Davis/Kyle Kuzma vs. Draymond Green
Draymond Green is an excellent defender but he has also benefitted from having so much talent around him in recent years. If Davis plays, he should dominate in this matchup as he has against just about every defender this season. Against Kuzma, this gets a bit more interesting, but I’d still have things in favor of the Lakers as Green is just returning from injury.
LeBron James is your stud pick for tonight’s game especially since Davis may sit. James is available for $10.7k on FanDuel and he has a projection of 55.94.
With Kuzma still valued very low and with a likely minutes increase today, look for him and his incredible 6.26 points per $1k value to add a difference-maker on the cheap today. He is available for just $4.1k with a projection of 25.68 points. I would normally include D’Angelo Russell in this section, but his salary has been increasing past the point where I’d consider him a player for this category, but for $8.1k, he is still projected for a big night with a 45.73 point projection.
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