Over the last six or seven years, if there was a team heading into a matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors looking to rest a star or two against a lesser opponent, well, it likely wouldn’t be the Lakers. How the turns have tabled.
All eyes heading into the injury report will be on Anthony Davis, who at one point made his way back to the locker room to get his ribs taped up against the Phoenix Suns last night. At this point, Davis might look like King Tut by Christmas. It might be wise to give him a night off against a broken-down Golden State team that can’t stop a nosebleed, and it sounds like that’s exactly what the Lakers plan to do, which you can read more about the implications of here.
What might have helped make that decision a little easier is the play from Kyle Kuzma Tuesday night in the team’s win against the Phoenix Suns. It was by far his best performance from start to finish, as he tallied 23 points on 9-16 shooting and 3-6 from deep. He has slowly but surely made progress, and Tuesday night felt like the legitimate step forward he, fans and the team have been waiting for.
In terms of matchup issues Golden State presents, well, there aren’t many beyond the team’s ability to shoot threes. The Lakers have at times struggled to defend the three-point line, but as it’s so easy to key in on with this specific opponent, it shouldn’t be as big a problem.
In the NBA, any team can beat anyone on any night, but this really does feel like an good opportunity to rest Davis. What the Lakers can’t afford to do is play around with their food and get into a situation where they have to play key guys long minutes on the second night in a row to squeak out a win.
Tip-off for the game is 7:00 p.m. PST and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Boy, execs had to feel like they were getting a very different matchup when they lined this game up.
Notes and Updates
- In addition to Davis being out, Rajon Rondo has also not been medically cleared for back-to-backs, and will also miss tonight’s game.