Golden State Warriors (19-22) @ Los Angeles Lakers (22-19)
Friday, January 27th
10:30 PM EST
FSN, FSBay, NBALP
Mavs @ Warriors 102-93 (LOSS) Box Score
Raptors @ Lakers 122-104 (WIN) Box Score
Projected Starting Five
Coach Mike Montgomery
C - Adonal Foyle (4.2 PPG on 50% shooting, 6.4 RPG, 0.5 APG)
PF - Troy Murphy (15.7 PPG on 43% shooting, 8.9 RPG, 1.2 APG)
SF - Mike Dunleavy (10.9 PPG on 41% shooting, 4.7 RPG, 2.8 APG)
SG - Jason Richardson (22.8 PPG on 45% shooting, 5.9 RPG, 2.8 APG)
PG - Baron Davis (18.3 PPG on 39% shooting, 4.6 RPG, 9.2 APG)
Coach Phil Jackson
C - Chris Mihm (10.3 PPG on 52% shooting, 6.6 RPG, 0.9 APG)
PF - Kwame Brown (6.0 PPG on 46% shooting, 6.1 RPG, 0.9 APG)
SF - Lamar Odom (14.5 PPG on 46% shooting, 9.4 RPG, 5.6 APG)
SG - Kobe Bryant (35.9 PPG on 45% shooting, 5.6 RPG, 4.3 APG)
PG - Smush Parker (11.5 PPG on 46% shooting, 3.1 RPG, 3.1 APG)
Predicted Stats: 9 points, 0 rebounds, 3 assists
Predicted Stats: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 0 assists
Who Got Game?
Predicted Stats: 32 points on 48% shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Predicted Stats: 42 points on 49% shooting, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
Tale of the Tape
Lakers 1, Warriors 0
Last 10 games:
Lakers 7-3, Warriors 2-8
Lakers 3rd, Warriors 4th
Lakers 7th seed, Warriors out of playoffs
Lakers 1 win, Warriors 3 losses
After starting the season fairly strong, at 12-6, the Golden State Warriors have dropped below .500 for the first time with five straight losses to begin the month of January. These losses include a 110-104 loss against the Lakers on the 14th, in a game dominated by guards Kobe Bryant (38/7/7) and Jason Richardson (37/4/0). You can expect the same show on Friday.
The biggest factor in this game will be defense. If that doesn't explain enough, maybe this will: the Warriors shot 44% against the Lakers in their loss, while committing 26 personal fouls and allowing the Lakers to shoot over 50% from the field, outrebounded by seven boards and outscored in the final quarter, 26-19, after being up at the end of the third, 85-84. Also, you can't shoot 60% from the charity stripe if you're being sent to the line 20 times, or attempt twice as many threes as the other team, but only make three more total (10-32). I'll try and ballpark this; maybe these are the reasons why the Warriors are suddenly losing games. They slack off on the defensive end, trying to outscore their opponents in the first three quarters...but then realize that, when it comes down to the final 12 minutes, their bodies are weary, and they just can't get the job done defensively. Sounds like the Lakers as well...
...except we have Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles has been fortunate to have a player such as Kobe, who has been carrying this team on his shoulders now for exactly half a season. Sure, it's been fun for us fans watching Kobe drop 62 in three, or 81 in 42 minutes...but how does Kobe feel? Scratch that; how do his legs feel? His arms? It only makes you wonder how much longer this can go on before Kobe breaks down (knock on wood, Laker fans). We can only hope and pray that we either bring in another scorer who can play defense, or that the rest of our team will finally step up and play their best basketball in the second half of the season.
Here's a very interesting statistic I've ran across: Kobe Bryant attempts 27.7 shots per game, which is extremely high. The rest of the Lakers' starting five (Kwame, Odom, Mihm and Smush) attempt a combined 32.6 shots per game. Interesting enough, these four (together) shoot 47% from the field, and Kobe is netting 45%. What does this say? Kobe Bryant is scoring nearly 36 of the team's points, while these four score 42...yet they are shooting nearly the same percentage as Bryant. Therefore, you look at the initiator in the triangle, Odom, and wonder why he's always starting the offense by passing the ball to Kobe...especially if Kobe's the man who's supposed to be playing off the ball more this season. If the Lakers are shooting at a decent percentage when Kobe doesn't have the basketball, and since Odom is the man throwing the most assists (where Kobe creates for himself), then it's very obvious that this team needs Lamar to become the second option. Not from downtown, not from 18 feet...but as a guard who penetrates and gives himself a basket or an easy assist. It all falls on Odom, now that Kobe let us all know he's capable of scoring whenever he wants.
Nobody in a Golden State Warriors uniform can stop Bryant one-on-one, but a J-Rich/Dunleavy double-team will do just that. Montgomery knows Odom is passive, and that he may not be a threat against the Warriors, so this needs to change immediately. Odom should attack the weak side, while having Kobe to his right, waiting to hit an easy jumper or drive hard to the rim. If Parker can keep Baron away from Bryant, and if Lamar can draw some attention from his defenders, Kobe will run these guys to death, and the Lakers will win this game, 102-96.