On Tap: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  January 14, 2006

Consider this a short preview with a bunch of other stuff thrown in.

Record: 17-18 (Pythagorean 17-18), 9th seed in the West
Record last 10 games: 3-7
Offensive Rating: 106.6 (15th in league)
Defensive Rating: 108.7 (20th in league)

The Lakers coming in: Hopefully the Lakers learned this lesson against Portland: They can’t look past anybody. Anybody. Play well and they can hang with or beat the second tier teams in the NBA (for example Cleveland). Don’t show up focused and they couldn’t beat my Sunday morning pickup crew. And we’re 30-something slow guys who met at a wine bar. They don’t have the talent to look past anyone.

At the end of the season Golden State may well be one of the teams the Lakers are fighting for a playoff spot with, so the Lakers had better show up ready to play. Besides, Gatinho paid for tickets to this game, and they don’t want to piss him off.

Trivia Question: The movie Glory Road came out this week, the story of Texas Western University being the first team to start five black players back in 1966, a group that went on to win the NCAA title. The team they beat in the championship game was traditional power Kentucky, a team that starred what future Laker great? (Answer at the end.)

One game I will see live this weekend: My Cal State Northridge Matadors crushing my wife’s Long Beach State 49ers.

Three things you should read:

1) From 82games.com: Some answers for Bill Simmons (and a chance to size up the Lakers in the clutch — they need to play better defense).

2) From True Hoop: Vlade Divac and George Clooney are working together. Seriously. Clooney is working with HBO to put together a behind the scenes look at a fictional NBA expansion franchise. But don’t think cheesy like “Playmakers” for two reasons: 1) HBO does good work; 2) George Clooney isn’t just someone on your wife/girlfriend’s “freebie list” — he directed the very good “Good Night and Good Luck.” This has potential.

3) From LA Observed: This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while.

About the Warriors: Jason Richardson and Barron Davis form one of the best offensive back courts in the league. They lead a team that plays at a fast pace — the fourth fastest in the league — and that leads to entertaining games. Richardson in particular has flourished with this style of play — he is averaging 22.9 points per 40 minutes and is shooting 49.7% (eFG%). Baron Davis is good and likely to remember how Smush Parker got under his skin back in those preseason in Hawaii games and could try to take the game over.

The downside is neither is a very good defender. That follows with most of the other people on the team. The only position the Warriors have defended well is the three — the Lakers should be able to score plenty tonight.

Key’s to a Laker win: Playing defense. Not getting into a track meet.

Trivia Answer: Pat Riley.