On Tap: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  January 27, 2006

Record: 19-22 (Pythagorean 18-23), 11th seed in the West
Record last 10 games: 2-8
Laker record against Warriors: 1-0
Offensive Rating: 106.9 (14th in league)
Defensive Rating: 108.3 (20th in league)

This is going to be short, I think I’ve spent plenty of time breaking down the Lakers this week.

Last time these two hooked up the Lakers got a “decent” night out of Kobe (38 points, just 13 of 28 from the field but 11 of 11 from the line, a true shooting percentage of 57.9%) but, more importantly, this was one of the balanced games for the Lakers offense — Smush had 24, Kwame 18 and Mihm 12.

They’ll need the balance again, I’m sure the Warriors have talked about not letting Kobe beat them, since the world will be watching. Other guys should get their chances and need to hit their shots. The Warriors are not that strong up front, this should be a good night for the Laker big men.

Also, that last game the Warriors shot a lot of threes, something else that plays to the Lakers strength — they are the second best team in the NBA at defending the three. The other thing the Lakers need to do: Not get into a track meet. The Warriors want the pace up, the Lakers don’t.

Finally, let’s see if Monty, the Warriors coach, can figure out that his regular starting five is struggling, but start Fisher instead of Dunleavy and they get a lot better. If you want more Warrior info, check out The City (I thought SF was “The City” and Golden State played across the bay?).

This is a team the Lakers could be battling for one of those final playoff spots in the West, the kind of game they need to win.