The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers meet in a highly anticipated matchup at the Staples Center. This game would certainly have more hype with a healthy Klay Thompson, but the Warriors still come armed to Los Angeles with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Draymond may not have his offensive stroke working, but the defense has seen notably better with him in the lineup. Unfortunately for the Warriors, it hasn’t resulted in too many wins.
Golden State goes into Monday night with a record of 6-6 following two straight losses against the Indiana Pacers, 104-95, and Denver Nuggets, 114-104. The Warriors are coming off a nice little layoff with the last three nights off. Their last time out on the court was the loss against the Nuggets in Denver. It’s clear that the Warriors aren’t going to be in the contender discussion without Thompson back in the lineup. That’s not happening this season, so unfortunately it’s another year pretty much wasted for Curry.
It’s kind of crazy to think that Curry is already a 32-year-old. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel like he’s been in the NBA for that long. Maybe it’s because he still looks like he’s in his mid 20’s, but I wish time would stop so we have more time to watch Steph. He can still be one of the most entertaining players to follow, and the ability to go off on a good night at the office. The Warriors might need Curry to have one of those nights on Monday night against the Lakers. This is a tough matchup, but not an impossible hill to climb for Golden State.
The Lakers go into Monday with a record of 11-3 following a 112-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. It was their fifth straight win, which started back on January 8 against the Chicago Bulls in a 117-115 win. The LA Clippers got better in the offseason, and the Brooklyn Nets recently improved their plight drastically with the signing of James Harden. However, the Lakers still look like the team to beat in the NBA. The Lakers didn’t sign Anthony to only win one championship. Head below for our free Warriors vs. Lakers pick on January 18, 2021.
Golden State Warriors vs. LA Lakers NBA Betting Odds:
Warriors vs. Lakers Prediction:
It’s pretty clear what the Golden State Warriors must do to upset the Lakers in this one. Steph Curry must set up a splash pad from beyond the three-point line and get hot. Like I said, the defense has been playing much better since the return of Draymond Green. They were getting killed on the defensive end of the floor, but they’ve shored up their defense upon his return.
When you put one of the best defensive players in the league in the lineup, that’s what tends to happen. The Warriors have conceded 107.2 points per game in their last five outings. That’s an improvement from nearly 120 points per game early in the season. Overall, the Warriors have allowed 115.3 points per game through the 2020-21 season.
It wasn’t the defense that let the Warriors down against the Pacers and Nuggets. Maybe in the 2000’s allowing 104 and 114 points would have been a sure loss, but for a team like the Warriors, with a sharpshooter like Curry, that is more than acceptable for an effort on defense. At least one of those games should have been a win for Golden State.
Curry has averaged 28.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists for the Warriors this season. Despite the record of 6-6, this would be Curry’s second-highest season with regard to points per game if he maintained the 28.4 points a game. He might need more than 28 points to keep the Warriors around in this game against the Lakers, though. Lebron and the Lakers are third in the league with 104.4 points against per game, and sixth with an average of 115.4 points netted per contest.
On paper the Lakers should win this game in convincing fashion. However, after two sloppy performances, expect the Warriors to go into the Staples Center with some added motivation to play better basketball against an elite team like the Lakers. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Lakers take this game lightly as well following the nice run they’ve been on. The Warriors might lose tonight, but I suspect they turn this game into a competitive contest.