Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Darius Soriano —  March 25, 2013

Records: Lakers 36-34 (8th in the West), Warriors 40-31 (6th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 105.3 (8th in the NBA), Warriors 103.6 (11th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.4 (T 17th in the NBA), Warriors 102.5 (13th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard
Warriors: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee, Andrew Bogut
Injuries: Lakers: Jordan Hill (out for the season); Warriors: Steph Curry (questionable), Brandon Rush (out for the season)

Warriors Blogs: Check out Warriors World for smart analysis and news updates on the Dubs.

Keys to game: We’ve been saying for weeks that every game is important, but for the final 12 games of the Lakers’ season that counts double. The Mavs and Jazz both sit two games behind the Lakers for the 8th spot and holding them off is, of course, the primary goal for this team. However, any game against the Rockets or the Warriors also represents an important contest as those are the two teams right above the Lakers in the standings and a win against them gives the Lakers are better shot of moving up to catch them for either the 7th or 6th seed.

This is where the Lakers losing back to back games against the Suns and Wizards really hurt. Those were “winnable” games and needed to be claimed as W’s for the Lakers to continue their push forward. Meanwhile, the Warriors have started to stabilize and the Rockets continue to hold steady and that makes moving up less likely. Tonight, though, a game against the Warriors can trim a full game off their lead and bring the Lakers to within 2.5 games of them, with a game still to play against them.

To get this win, then, the Lakers will need to bring a better and more sustained effort than they have in their past two games. The Warriors are a good home team and while there’s always a fair contingent of Lakers’ fans in Oakland, this game matters to the locals and should generate a good atmosphere.

From an X’s and O’s standpoint, Steph Curry is a game-time decision with a sprained ankle and his presence obviously matters a great deal. If he’s unable to play, the Warriors lose their best shooter and a player who can compromise defenses with the ball in his hands and as a floor spacer simply camping behind the arc. That said, his replacement is Jarrett Jack and he’s one of the guys who always seems to play well against the Lakers. Jack is a solid playmaker and shooter and can do damage attacking smaller defenders (like Nash and Blake) by using his body to create space on his jumper or when getting into the paint. If the Lakers see more of Jack and less of Curry, that affects the game plan but it’s not like the former can simply be disregarded as a threat.

The Warriors also offer threats in the form of David Lee and Klay Thompson. Lee has given Gasol fits in the two previous meetings between these two, using his jumper to draw Pau away from the hoop and then his good first step to get inside for hooks with either hand. Pau will need to show better defense than he did against the Wizards (especially in the 2nd half) when defending Lee by contesting his jumper well but also sliding with him when he puts the ball on the floor. As for Thompson, he’s a very good (but still streaky) shooter that must be marked all over the floor. The Warriors use him the way the Hawks used Kyle Korver in that they run him off baseline picks and standard pin downs to free him up for jumpers. Kobe (or Ron) will need to fight through those picks to chase him off that jumper. The big men can also help by showing out on these screens to delay Thompson’s read on the catch or to deny the pass entirely.

Offensively, the Lakers can take advantage of a Warrior defense that runs very hot and cold. In recent games against the Knicks and the Rockets the Warriors did an excellent job of slowing down pick and roll heavy attacks that were too quick to swing the ball around the perimeter for jumpers rather than looking inside. However, when teams threaten the paint against them, their wings are prone to collapse too far and leave their men open from behind the arc. In other words, the Lakers would be wise to try and establish the paint early against the Warriors and make them defend the rim rather than settling for outside jumpers. Even though Bogut is protecting the rim well these days, attacking him with Howard (and Lee with Pau) is just as much about trying to get the bigs going as it is about making the Warriors perimeter defenders choose between helping and staying home.

The Warriors will also hang well below the screen in P&R actions so it’s imperative that Kobe and Nash look to attack the paint and try to get their shots inside first. Little runners from Nash and hard drives by Kobe are not only high percentage shots, but have the added benefit of potentially drawing fouls or the type of help that open up offensive rebounding chances for Dwight and Pau.

The other key to this game is monitoring the Warriors in transition and ensuring that they don’t get a lot of wide open looks either going to the rim or spotting up behind the arc. Thompson and Curry both run to the three point line while Barnes, Draymond Green, Lee, and even Bogut will run to the rim to try and get dunks and lay ups. The Lakers must have good floor balance on offense to promote good transition D but most also run back hard and find a man early in the possession to avoid giving up open looks.

Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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121 responses to Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

  1. Basically there is no way to figure out what to expect from this group of guys (I’ve decided I won’t call them a “team” for the remainder of the season). With 12 games to go, and three behind the Rockets & Warriors in the loss column, the Lakers may have reached their high water mark of the regular season.

    And I’m going to suggest this can be a good thing because I believe the Spurs will hold on to 1st place. Personally I believe this group of Lakers will have a better chance of winning a 7 game series on the road against the Spurs, then the Thunder, Clips, or Nuggets. With the injury to Marc Gasol, the Grizz would be the preferred foe, but I believe his injury will cost them 1st round home court.

    Well let’s see what tonight brings vs the Warriors on the road. Too bad the Lakers don’t really have the personnel to test Curry’s ankle.

    Biggest goal for the rest of the season…stay healthy. Let’s go Lakers.

  2. let’s go lakers…6th place will be a greater position to declare “battle of los angeles”…go go go…

  3. I just decided to fool myself and started to believe that the Lakers are losing games on purpose, just to draw San Antonio in the first round.

    yeah, that has to be it.

  4. We could not beat two pieces of crap lottery teams back2 back i dont expect much against a decent dubs team, sorry, we should our lucky stars the Jazz are so bad. If not we would be in 10 place and deservedly so.

  5. John Wall dropped a 47.7.8 on the Grizz tonight, 13/22 from the floor. They were without MGasol, but wow.

  6. Pacers with 4 starters out but managed to win against Hawks.

    That is a TEAM, I guess…

  7. Lakers beating the Spurs in the 1st round of the playoffs is delusional. They have a lethal point guard who is having the best season of his career. The Spurs are extremely disciplined, wise, and they have fantastic habits. Most of all they are a well-oiled team. They will bleed the Laker defense with fantastic passing and Parker penetration + smarts. Lakers will look flat-footed on defense.

    Everything comes down to habits. They are the things you lead with and the things you fall back on when you are struggling. When the Lakers defense starts to crumble, they turn on eachother quickly, and they isolate from one another.

    It’s been happening for many years, and you can’t cover it up with Dwight Howard. Its too pervasive.

  8. Howard is taking jumpshots….

  9. Kobe is very aggressive on D to start this game.

  10. What was with that pass by Pau?

  11. Pau can’t even make it to the tv timeout. I’m sure his conditioning is good for more than 6 minutes spurts.

  12. Pau looks extremely timid.

  13. James

    Actually the Spurs are a good matchup for us. Remember the beat by 2 points without Nash and Blake. Then they beat us by 3 without Howard and Pau. I’m much more concerned with Denver and OKC an that up tempo style.

  14. I hate that foul where the offensive player just flings himself into the defensive player.

  15. We look unmotivated, unengaged and flat, there are serious issues within this team. Down by 9 already. Just a mess. We are done.

  16. Not sure which is funnier. Nash on Curry or Jamison on Lee Or Kobe not on any 3 point shooter. Looks like trouble tonight. Young aganist old not a good match.

  17. The Lakers continue to do a really poor job guarding the perimeter. With Howard on the floor we really don’t need to be too concerned with packing the paint, we collapse in on every single drive.

  18. Wow never noticed before how much Ric Bucher sounds like Cheryl Miller.

  19. Remember our problem is not offense it’s DEFENSE!! Lakers make other mediocre teams look like championship warriors!

    Whose our defensive coach & what’s his strategy? Please someone explain.

  20. We’re packing the paint because our perimeter defenders cant stop penetration.

  21. Lakers defence is not only poor right now, it is extremely soft.

  22. Lakers look lifeless can’t believe they didn’t come to play tonight.

  23. Another disgusting vomit inducing performance, i must be a fan of punishment.

  24. Golden State is just outplaying our beloved Lakers in every way.

  25. 14 to 28?

    3 losses in a row?

    Closer to 10 place then 7th place?

    It’s very clear that if they make the playoffs it dosen’t matter who they play. They can’t stop anyone. This is a terrible defensive team. Poorly put togeather. May lose tonight by 30. No chance. Reality check fans.

  26. It is on nights like this when Jamison is completely ineffective on offence, and thus not negating his putrid defence, that I wish D’Antoni had bothered to show any confidence in a guy like Ebanks who has spotty offence at best (streaky anyway) but is a much better defensive player.

  27. Kevin looks like something going on inside that group of guys, no motivation, no gameplan, those Howard jumpers set up my alarm.

  28. All you can do is laugh….

  29. This is pathetic. The lakers are pathetic. Dantoni is pathetic.

    As soon as this team gets all of its players back, the wheels fall off. I can only attribute that to coaching. That means the players are either bad at what Dantoni what’s them to do, don’t understand what dantoni wants them to do, or both.

  30. Just tuned in…. Glad i missed this ugly start, when are the lakers going to attempt to play some defense?

  31. Nothing left to do but to see the final trip of this trainwreck and just shake our heads at this massive disaster of a season.

  32. GSW’s worst shooter tonight would be our best. We couldn’t make a shot to save our life tonight. Can’t defend either.

  33. Why has Kobe sat so long? Lingering ankle issue?

  34. Great defensive sequence there, but Earl Clark throws the ball out of bounds…

  35. Earl Clark doesn’t do enough to warrant minutes over Pau. The only way to get into game shape is to play. D’Anoni has to get Pau integrated onto the team.

  36. Still dont understand the end game.. .too old to run and gun…too old to defend.

    No plan or strategy during or between games…

  37. LMAO 2 great defensive plays,the 1st ones all night long and Clarks throw the ball away, i laugh instead of smashing this phone against the wall. On a side note those GS announcers have the “local team never fouls but the other team always fouls” decease.

  38. Have to wonder in any other business when you have the highest salaries and are a huge failure, would the management and coaching staff be retained?

    No way, in my world everyone gets fired! I guess the TW deal means it doesn’t matter as us sucker fans pay for garbage play either way. GS is a way, way, way better team, better coach and with Jerry West a way better organization.

    But at least we have Pringles and Jimmy boy the horse trainer.

    I quit, done for the night. Kobe again looks bad also. Spending my birthday doing something worth while instead. Smoke a cigar. Nite all.

  39. Pau checks in but only because Dwight’s in foul trouble. Sounds a lot like D’Antoni’s tenure so far. Only plays talent when someone goes down.

  40. Lets look at the bright side in 16 months we are going to be rid of almost all of these players we have that to look foward, we are in a world of hurt till then.

  41. Gasol is awful on both ends right now, huge detriment.

  42. This is the Lakers 2nd game in like a week but they’re playing like it’s their 3rd in 3 nights. This team sucks.

  43. Quote D’Antoni: championship? Bwahahahahaha.

  44. Its time for all of us to admit the Lakers are finished. Can we tank the rest of the season?

  45. Bogut tips it in… Kobe was just clueless

  46. This team just isn’t that good. I can’t watch tonight’s game and come to any other conclusion. Is this because Kobe’s still injured and Pau hasn’t gotten back into game shape? Not sure, but we are barely an 8th seed right now.

  47. I’m done. After two awful games, they come out like this. What a joke of a season for a once-proud franchise.

  48. Good lord this is horrible, not rven a notion of a boxout. And not a boxout to end the quarter, its official, this team imploded in the worst way, they need to fire MDA i defended him in the past but this mismanagment is almost criminal, as soon as the team get most of its pieces togheter it reverts right back to the preseason and october- november Lakers i believe the players tune him out too. This is a meltdown of epic proportions.

  49. Looks like this group of over paid babies answered the coach’s call out after the last game. “Here coach we”ll show you what real quitters are all about”.

    Not a playoff team for sure.

  50. Nash can’t penetrate nor defend..but he can shoot!

    Howard is a one trick pony & only plays hard defense when he’s motivated!

    MWP tries but has lost 3 steps

    Pau has lost 4 steps

    Kobe tries to do it all too much!

    Coach greatest strategy is the worst thing to happen to THIS team!

    Point is I recognize the weaknesses but can we monopolize on our STRENGTHS!!


  51. Relax guys, game is not over. I personally think we are going to win this game.

  52. What exactly are the Lakers trying to accomplish on each side of the ball? It’s a Nash offense, a Kobe offense and no offense. What’s crazy is Kobe was Magic for a good stretch of the season but now no one moves when he gets the ball. He’s proved if you get open he’ll pass but everyone is standing around. On top of that Dwight is frustrated and when he gets frustrated he gets into foul trouble. Recipe for a 3 game losing streak and 0-7 with this starting lineup.

  53. Welcome to the club JB, im just here for the meltdown this is history

  54. sufian,

    I am with you..looks like a win to me.

  55. I gotta agree with Sufian on this one, glaring evidence to the contrary

  56. The Lakers could had been this embarrasing with half the payroll

  57. it’s plain to see, gasol threw the team off of their rhythm. He just does not fit, it’s really that simple…

    everything else just dominoes from there

  58. Purpleblood and Suffian i went thru that stage too,its called faith but last week the Phoenix and Wizard games emptied the tank for me.

  59. If you consider coming out of the locker room a win, then your right. This team has quit on this coach it appears.

  60. Fern and Anon., I see your points, but heck, we´ve got nowhere to go but up (at least for tonight)

  61. What exactly had Meeks done to deserve to start the 3rd?

  62. Yeah. So, um…Golden State can’t miss. The Lakers do not have that problem.

  63. So Thompsom has dropped 22 on Kobe huh?

  64. im pretty sure nash has to be the worst defender in the nba…or is it antawn jamison? anyway both are on the Lakers.

  65. hmmm the Lakers D has NEVER been this consistently bad…here we add Nash and MDA who are notoriously known for no defense period, what do we get the worst D in the league…I know I know its not that black and white, but for a team to be on the brink of the playoffs and for us to continue to lay these eggs with the talent we have in 100% inexcusable…how can an NBA caliber coach not be able to construct a winning game plan?

  66. Meeks finally gets one, but man is he an awful finisher.

  67. Nah Purple is going to get worse. The best thing is to lower our expectations to the bare minimun, limping into the playoffs and getting swept on the 1st round thats whats on the cards for this team, want to hear something funny? I think this team would had done better if they didnt fire Brown, he looks like a prophet now. Who would had believe it

  68. Kobe totally uninterested on defense. Speak volumes of the motivation of tje whole team.

  69. Best center in the league and he’s an afterthought on offense. I’m not sure a coach has neutralized 2 big men as much as D’Antoni has to Dwight and Pau.

  70. Howard is playing a terrible game, started with his clownish jump shots and he has been soft inside all night on both ends.

  71. hard to watch this game.
    we have no defense. we do not scare any teams out there.
    hope we can cut the deficit to 10 coming into 4th.

  72. Meeks, Jamison, Blake 1 for 14.

    Nice bench.

    Metta out for game.

  73. D’Antoni is asking Kobe and Nash to run around for 35 minutes on offense and defense when he has to 7 footers, a dying breed in the nba, to ease the burden off them. What a waste.

  74. Dwight is not the best big manin the league, MDA is ,he shut down both Pau and Dwight all season long lol

  75. Not one post about nash’s offence though he is 8-12 for 19 points in only 25 mins of PT..interesting….I guess there is one post now.

  76. hey Ken, happy birthday man, & i don´t mean that facetiously

  77. Last year team looks like a juggernaut compared to this one.

  78. When Howard doesn’t get shots in 2 games he’s going to be UNINTERSTED!! We need MORE shots for the guy..geez. I mean Meeks 1-7, Blake 0-3, Gasol 2-7… Could this 3-17 shots at least half be HOWARD SHOTS??

  79. D’Antoni can’t make good use of 2 players making almost $40 million this year. Every guard every possession is a better option than Pau and Dwight in D’Antoni’s mind.

  80. Rusty Shackleford March 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Who on the Lakers is playing with any sort of confidence right now?

  81. Harv. no offense, pal but they are down 92-74.

  82. Pau finally does something positive and then counters that by missing 2 fts

  83. Jodie Meeks have 1 more shot than Howard, cant blame the guy for being uninterested, and the Laker go 1-5 from the line this is revolting

  84. rr,

    fair enough.

  85. brick free throws. wooohooooo. killing ourselves.

  86. we can’t even make free throws.

  87. Lead could have been cut to 15, but Pau misses 3/4 freebies there…

  88. Good thing Laker players get PAID to play, otherwise nobody would have shown up! Well maybe Sacre would lol!

  89. 21 Free Throw Attempts In The 3rd Quarter & Still Down By 18 .. Wow

  90. IF Howard is disinterested because of lack of touches and not playing hard then he is to blame. Work hard and get good position, move without the ball, throw some hard screens and roll, get some offensive boards. Most of all play hard D as that is what you built your rep on.

    I think this is just a game that Howard failed to come into with the needed sense of urgency and intensity. He is just not wired that way.

  91. Thanks Purple.

    Compare the coaching of Jackson to Mike Daaa. Double teams Kobe to leave Pau wide open, fouls Dwight end of quarter etc etc etc.

    Been told a good coach can mean 10 wins a season and a bad coach 10 extra losses.

    Do the math!

  92. Another brutal defensive lapse by Howard who looks to have mentally checked out…if he was ever in tonight.

  93. Since the 10th game of the year Lakers haven’t gotten better at anything.

  94. @joe

    And people wonder why kobe shoots so much.

  95. Wow, can the Lakers use the trampoline the rest of the night?

  96. done for tonight. now #8 seed is in big jeopardy.
    with our plays as of late, we could be missing the playoff.
    utah and dallas are better than us. wth happened the past 3 games, defined our disappointing season.

  97. Well said Joe, on both your last posts

  98. Joe you’re sure right (concerning Howard). But the way he IS WIRED is how he needs to be dealt with until something changes. FEED THE MAN THE BALL…if not he’ll play as if he’s SLEEPING ON THE JOB!

    Smh.. Rolling my eyes.disgusted

  99. Im going to bed im the phase of acceptance that this team just sucks.

  100. Dwight’s 4th turnover on 12 touches, he is turning it over 33% of the time.

  101. And Dwight just air balled a pathetic looking scoop shot.

  102. Great Lakers defensive team? Or greatest Lakers defensive team?

  103. i still dont really understand why mike is playing kobe at pf. I kno metta is injured and lakers need 3 pt shooting but why not clark…unless kobe guarding lee is a good idea…

  104. @Gary what is curious about it is the insistence on keeping Blake out there who has been extra terrible tonight.

  105. It is games like this with the lineups that convince me that MDA is a below average coach.

  106. at the Phoenix game, MDA’s refusal to play the bench costed the players’ trust. Now the players are just going thru the motion. Need a new coach. This is just a sad situation.

  107. nice board by Meeks

  108. A 4-guard line up? Really? MDA should be coaching the NJB.

  109. Joe that was actually the right move, when the double Kobe you would rather have Blake out there then Clark. Must have been some other coach’s idea.

  110. Pathetic perimeter defense in the 1st half is where this game was lost. Curry, Thompson and Jack got whatever they wanted.

  111. Back to this Kobe vs 5 guys. You will lose every time with that.

  112. I feel sorry for Dwight he worked so hard to get back to where he can dominate and coach isn’t rewarding him.

  113. What will we see more this year: Kobe passing people on the all time scoring list or playoff wins? Starting to think that’ll be our only joy this year. Amazing how fast Lakers fell off that high tide they were riding a few weeks back.

  114. I need a Tylenol. See you folks Tuesday

  115. eeh gads, this stretch has been like the beginning of the season all over again –

  116. turning point of the season…the atlanta game where kobe misses the buzzer beater and goes down with a bad injury. cost the team at least 2 or 3 games they really needed.

  117. What happened to the ‘Kobe Alert’ tonight?

  118. Only way for Lakers to have any kind of championship success they have to miss the playoffs. The franchise hasn’t hit rock bottom yet. That’ll bring some urgency. Playing in the 2nd round makes things seem closer than they really are. Rock bottom is necessary for the players urgency to pick back up. The front office put in more effort on the phones in the off season than the team did tonight.

  119. I hate to admit it but Pau really needs to go. If not, MDA is.

    No other comments. Enough said.

  120. Robert has deserted us, depriving us of a Kobe Alert during this bleak juncture of the season.

    The entire teams rhythm is thrown off because Pau does not want to come in off the bench.

    It’s unfathomable to play an injured non-defensive Jamison over a healthy Clark.

    Now, I’m insulted for Howard, Jodie Meeks gets to shoot more than him! The entire team is taking on D’Antoni’s offense first mentality.