The Warriors have won all three games against the Lakers this season, but not without a fight from Los Angeles. In two of their last three matchups, the Lakers have taken the Warriors to overtime, only to be shown up by the reigning champs’ superstar players in the clutch. Fortunately for the Lakers, a number of them could be watching from the sidelines on Wednesday.
Per Mark Medina of The Mercury News, Golden State will be without All-Stars Steph Curry and Draymond Green, as well as David West and Patrick McCaw, due to “injuries.” The Warriors could also be without All-Star Klay Thompson, who suffered a sprained thumb on Sunday. Andre Iguodala and Jordan Bell are both probable.
The Lakers will also be without a number of their key players, including Brandon Ingram, who will miss Wednesday’s game with the same groin strain that has kept him out for the past few weeks, and Kyle Kuzma, who tweaked his ankle Tuesday vs. Denver.
Ingram will travel with the team to Oakland, according to NBC LA’s Shahan Ahmed, but Josh Hart (hand) and Channing Frye (abdomen) will not.
Ingram has gotten up to play against his childhood idol, Kevin Durant, each time they’ve faced off this season, so it will be a bummer not to see him out on the floor in what will be their final meeting of the season. In three games against Golden State this season, Ingram averaged 21 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks.
With both Ingram and Kuzma out, the Lakers will have to get creative to make up for their shortcomings on the wing. I’d imagine Derrick Williams, who the Lakers signed to a 10-day contract on Sunday, will get some run. The Lakers could also play Luol Deng, but considering he hasn’t seen the floor since opening night, I wouldn’t count on it.
The key to an upset on the road for LA will be their big men. Golden State will be missing Green and West, arguably their two most reliable options up front this season. Looking at the Warriors’ roster, there isn’t anyone else that can stop Julius Randle from pounding it in the paint or anyone that can follow Brook Lopez out from behind the arc.
In their last five games, Randle and Lopez have averaged a combined 44.4 points, 15.4 rebounds (10.6 from Randle), 5.8 assists and 1.8 blocks (1.4 from Lopez). The Warriors will hav their work cut out for them with those two.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
TV: ESPN/Spectrum SportsNet
All stats are courtesy of stats.nba.com unless otherwise noted.