The Golden State Warriors are actively trying to lose games. The Los Angeles Lakers are not. That sums up tonight's contest about as succinctly as can be done. The Lakers, however, seem intent on providing drama in the portion of the season that is supposed to be monotonous. Instead of overwhelming familiarity with a roster that has been unchanged for seasons, the Lakers have given us a brand new look to be excited about, but that needs to work out a few kinks. Instead of coasting along at a steady pace, the Lakers tend to look like world beaters one night and lottery contestants the next. And instead of the Lakers becoming more and more attuned to coach Mike Brown's philosophies, we get to deal with stories of offensive mutiny, defensive failure, and concern over the Lakers' primary star spending some unwanted time on the pine.
In a season that has brought with it a roller coaster of colossal proportions, would it kill the Lakers just to give us a regular game?
A regular game would mean a win, simple as that. Not that the Lakers should be expected to win all their contests under "normal" circumstances, but the circumstances surrounding tonight's opponent require a Lakers win. The Golden State Warriors have given up on this season. Like, officially. They traded away Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh for Andrew Bogut (who is out for the season) and Stephen Jackson, then flipped Jackson to San Antonio for Richard Jefferson. They shut down Stephen Curry and his shaky ankle. This was their starting lineup in their last contest
- David Lee (a good, not quite an All-Star power forward)
- Charles Jenkins (???)
- Klay Thompson (a rookie, son of Mychal Thompson, is a good shooter)
- Dorrell Wright (Mediocre role player)
- Jeremy Tyler (???)
The Warriors start two guys I've never heard of. They start a third guy who might struggle to find minutes in the Lakers sub-par SF rotation. Their 4th starter is a rookie, and their 5th starter is less productive than any of the Lakers stars, including new acquisition Ramon Sessions. The Warriors are tanking. They have lost six of their last 8 games, with both wins coming against teams that are doing a better job of tanking than they are (Sacramento and New Orleans). When the team found out about the trade that sent Monta Ellis away, one player accidentally blurted out "So we're giving up on the season, then?" Yes, unnamed player. Yes, you are.
This is a must win game for the Lakers, because not winning tonight would be against the best interests of both parties. There is no analysis of matchups necessary, because the Lakers win them all. There isn't a single position on the court that the Lakers don't have an advantage. So have fun, enjoy, and hope against hope that the Lakers provide you with a game completely lacking in storylines or dramatic value.