Showtime: 7:30 p.m. PT
Plot: The first game of the Los Angeles Lakers' season has come and gone and the purple and gold did more than just survive. They thrived as a unit and gave the Los Angeles Clippers a nasty black eye to start what's billed as a "big" season for their franchise.
But the start to the Lakers season is dark and full of terrors, and they begin with a back-to-back that has sent them up the coast to face the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night. Oracle Arena is going to be bonkers for a team with raised expectations after "arriving" in the playoffs last year and sending dead weight contracts along with picks out to Utah while keeping their tangible assets to acquire Andre Iguodala.
These teams faced off three times during the preseason, with the Lakers taking the preseason opener in my hometown of Ontario, California (moo) and the Warriors taking both games in China. The preseason is the preseason, though, so let's just toss the results out the window and move on from that little factoid.
The Lakers' perimeter defense is going to be put to the test tonight. Stephen Curry is going have an endless amount of on-ball screens set for him that the team is going to have to deal with. He's going to have an endless amount of off-ball screens set for him that the team is going to have to jump ahead of. Every defender is going to have to stand at attention while Mark Jackson tries to weave a web of open shots for his star pupil.
On the other end the Warriors have Iggy to put a stop to those pesky Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar drives. It was great that those two were attacking the paint, but Iguodala isn't Jared Dudley or Darren Collison -- he's one of the league's elite wing defenders and I doubt very much he wants to be part of a Xavier Henry highlight reel.
Things don't get much better for the frontcourt players with Andrew Bogut under the rim to match up with Pau Gasol. His sheer size alone make him a tougher match-up than DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin and he's more agile than he gets credit for.
It's going to be a tough game for the Lakers, especially after seemingly blowing a limit break of energy last night against the Clippers, but perhaps that momentum can carry over. Perhaps confidence is high and the team can continue performing at the insane level they did in Game 1 of 82.
Win or lose, one can only hope that the team puts forth the kind of effort they displayed last night. That was way too much fun, as exemplified by Mr. Steve Nash:
(Coincidentally that was also the pose I was trapped in during most of that fourth quarter run).
Enjoy the game folks!
On This Soundtrack
James Brown - I Feel Good