Below I cover the matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, which includes my prediction, the current odds, projected starting lineups for both teams, and any applicable injuries. Take a look at which team I believe will pull away in the end!
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Odds
The Golden State Warriors are six-point favorites at home against the new-look Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors were the second-best team in the NBA against the spread last season, finishing 32-19-2 (62.8%), while the Lakers were 18-23 ATS as an away team in 2021-22.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction
While this matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors should remain close for most of the game, I expect the Warriors to pull away in the second half. There are two key reasons for this: the Warriors are notorious for their third-quarter outbursts, and they also have a far deeper second unit that should create a significant gap late in the third quarter or early in the fourth.
The bottom line is the Dubs’ have the potential to boast one of the best second units in the NBA this season, while Los Angeles lacks depth, especially since Dennis Schroder will be unavailable. I will take the Golden State Warriors against the spread, even if there is a distinct possibility that they could suffer an “NBA Finals hangover” in their first game of the 2022-23 season. Additionally, I will be eyeing the point total at 225.5 due to the Lakers’ expected pace of play (seventh last season in pace) and the Dubs’ ability to exploit weak defenses.
In all four matchups last season, the point total would have hit this over at 225.5 convincingly, with two of the games finishing at 240 combined points. The Los Angeles Lakers might have a slightly different roster than last season, but there is little doubt that they will still play fast-paced basketball. Golden State is also a disciplined team that knows how to get good looks offensively, and if it starts knocking down shots, the Lakers will feel pressured to push the tempo in an attempt to close the gap.
There are multiple matchups to keep an eye on for this game, including Anthony Davis vs. Draymond Green and Steph Curry vs. the Lakers’ perimeter defense.
Anthony Davis Vs. Draymond Green
Anthony Davis has struggled with injuries and staying on the floor his last two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, making his ability to play consistently on the offensive end quite difficult. This has been put on full display the past two seasons, with AD shooting 26% from deep during the 2020-21 season and 18.6% last year.
Draymond Green’s physicality will make it difficult for Davis to get clean looks, whether on the interior or the perimeter. Green prides himself on the defensive end, as offensively, he is limited to passing and screening most of the time. Davis will score some due to his talent alone, but it would not shock me to see an inefficient game from him here.
Steph Curry Vs. Lakers’ Perimeter Defense
Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the worst teams in the NBA at defending opposing point guards; they allowed nearly 25 points per game. Russell Westbrook has never been known for defensive prowess, so Curry should have no problem creating offense off the point of attack if Westbrook defends him.
However, with Patrick Beverley’s arrival in Los Angeles, the Lakers may cross-switch Beverley and put him on Curry while Westbrook defends Klay Thompson. If that is the case, the Lakers could slow down the reigning Finals MVP just enough to force other Warriors players to step up.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: Dennis Schroder (Out), Russell Westbrook (Q)
Golden State Warriors Injuries: Andre Iguodala (Out), Moses Moody (Q), JaMychal Green (Q)