The NBA is set for a busy day of basketball to end the three day weekend. There are eleven games on the board for Monday night’s MLK Day action. The Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers will meet up for the last game of the night. These two teams have found themselves in the playoff picture to this point in the season. The game will begin at 10:30 PM Eastern time on TNT.
Golden State has started their run at a third straight NBA Final Championship with a record of 32-14, which has them in first place of the Western Conference standings. The Warriors are coming off a 112-94 win against the Los Angeles Clippers on the road. Golden State has been on a tear recently winning seven games in a row and nine of their last ten games. The Warriors will look to keep the winning streak alive with a road win against the Lakers on Monday night.
The Lakers have started this season with a record of 25-22, which has them sitting in ninth place of the Western Conference. Los Angeles had a slow start to the season and have struggled a bit since LeBron James went down with an injury against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. The Lakers have gone 5-8 without James in the lineup. Los Angeles will look to improve that record with an upset over the Warriors at home.
Monday night’s matchup between Golden State and Los Angeles will be the second game of the season series. The Warriors and the Lakers will meet up again soon on February 2 and again later in the season on April 4. These two teams have both looked like playoff teams early in the season, but with Los Angeles’ injuries, they will need some players to step up big time to pull off the win at home.
Last season, Golden State and Los Angeles met up a total of four times. The Warriors dominated the season series with a 4-0 series win. The Lakers took Golden State to overtime in both of their games at home, but fell up short. When the season series switched to Golden State for the last two games of the season series, the Warriors won by seven points and nine points. Golden State went on to win the NBA Championship, while Los Angeles missed the playoffs.
The Warriors hosted the first matchup of this season’s series on December 25. Andre Iguodala had a big night off the bench, dropping 23 points at home. Kevin Durant added another 21 points, but it was not able to keep up with the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma put up 19 points for Los Angeles. Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while a total of seven players had double-digit points for the Lakers. Los Angeles was able to put up a dominant 127-101 win on the road.
The Warriors dominated the Lakers last season, but struggled against the newer looking Los Angeles roster on Christmas Day. A lot of players have gone down with injury since then, which could help give Golden State the edge. I believe that the Warriors have a really good chance to put up a dominant performance to get revenge for their loss on Christmas Day.
Three Point Shooting
The Warriors have been one of the best three-point shooting teams this season. Golden State has shot around 38.9 percent from behind the three-point line. The Warriors have allowed opposing teams to shoot 35 percent from behind the three-point line, which is in the top half of the league.
Los Angeles has had some difficulty shooting from behind the three-point this season. The Lakers have shot 33.6 percent from behind the arc. Los Angeles has been a decent team defending the three ball though. The Lakers opponents have shot around 34.7 percent from deep. Los Angeles has been in the top half of the league at defending the three ball.
The Warriors have been led by their big three this season. Stephen Curry has averaged 30 points and 5.5 assists per game this season. Kevin Durant is averaging 28 points and 7.5 rebounds per game from the Small Forward spot. Klay Thompson has averaged 21.5 points per game at the Shooting Guard spot. Golden State just got DeMarcus Cousins at the Center spot. He put up 14 points and 6 rebounds in his first game of the season with the Warriors.
Kyle Kuzma has stepped up in the Lakers injured players absence recently. Kuzma has averaged 19.5 points and 6 rebounds per game this season. Brandon Ingram is averaging 16.5 points and 5 rebounds per game this season. JaVale McGee has averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds per game this season. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 10 points per game off the bench this season.
The Warriors lineup could overpower Los Angeles’ injured lineup on Monday night. Stephen Curry will matchup with Josh Hart since Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo are out. This could lead to a big night for Curry. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson will go up against Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, which should both be good matchups. JaVale McGee will go up against Cousins, which I believe will be a good matchup for Cousins.
Golden State has some matchups that could lead to a big night on Monday night. The Warriors are a much better three-point shooting team and with LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball out, I believe that the Warriors big performing players can go for a big night. Los Angeles dominated the first game of the season series, and I believe that Golden State will bounce back with a dominant win on the road against the Lakers on Monday night.
BetOnline has the Warriors listed as a -11 against the spread. I believe that Golden State will be able to dominate against a very injured Lakers squad. The Warriors have Cousins back and I believe that it will help give Golden State the edge to pull off the blowout win. The Warriors are on the road, but were able to win all four games against the Lakers last season, which was a little bit better than Los Angeles’ current roster with all the injuries. I believe Golden State pulls off the blowout win to cover the spread.