For the Golden State Warriors, the last time they tangoed with the Los Angeles Lakers was a historic, fantastically fun affair. The team ran out of the locker room to a rabid Oakland crowd who absolutely lost it in front of their favorite team from the opening bell. The Dubs responded in kind with a triumph in their season opener, drubbing the Lakers 127 - 104 in a game that really wasn't even that close. Klay Thompson erupted for a career-high 41 points, with his running mate Stephen Curry throwing down a relatively pedestrian 31, followed by Harrison Barnes with a "paltry" 15 points on 6 shots. The Dubs shot 56% overall and 48% from the arc, one of the first material signs we received that LA was truly one of the great defensive travesties in the league.
Now just over two weeks later? We can only pray we don't see an exact repeat performance.
The 1-8 Lakers battle the 7-2 Warriors who rank amongst the very best in the NBA. Golden State very much looks like a dark horse title contender early this season, with a very solid defense behind new coach Steve Kerr and one of the most lethal offenses in the game. Curry and Thompson are averaging nearly 50 points as a duo, with weapons like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Barnes playing supporting roles. They are truly one of the most complete teams in the league, but more importantly, seem to have everything that ails the Lakers.
LA is hurting in almost every way right now. For their fourth game in six days, it shouldn't get any better. The Lakers are allowing a staggering .407 3P% shooting to opponents, which shouldn't bode well consider the sharpshooters on the Dubs roster. The Show also has an incredible propensity for personal fouls, which again, isn't an ideal situation when putting any Warrior on the line whose name isn't Andrew Bogut.
But do I have to go into it further, really? The Lakers are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and the Warriors are a devastating offensive unit. If LA has any chance in this game, they will have to learn how to guard the perimeter on the fly AND get lucky with a very poor shooting night from GS. They'll also have to get a vintage performance from Kobe Bryant, who's been pressed into fairly intense physical service considering his age and illness as of late.
But again, do I have to go into this further? If the Lakers want to break through with their second win of the season, both teams will have to play extremely out of character.
--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino