Monday, February 26, 2024

NBA Preview: Golden State Warriors (29-29) at Los Angeles Lakers (27-32)

With their first meeting of the post-All-Star break schedule on Thursday at Los Angeles, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers must work quickly to improve their playoff positions.

As they attempt to move up from play-in tournament eligibility to a top-six Western Conference spot and an automatic first-round spot, the Warriors, the defending champions, will be looking for defensive commitment.

The Lakers’ sole objective is to qualify for the postseason, regardless of whether they are in play-in or better status. The Lakers’ season has not been what they expected, placing them 13th in the 15-team Western Conference. However, they are just two games away from a play-in spot in the standings.

The Warriors lost three of their last four games before the All-Star break without star Stephen Curry, including a 134-124 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on February 14 that highlighted their defensive issues.

Curry’s return from a left leg injury is something like fourteen days away, despite the fact that he has gotten back to the training court this week for non-contact work. Gary Payton II was brought in to provide perimeter defense, but he will miss at least a month due to a hip injury.

Draymond Green, a seasoned player for Golden State, makes no apologies for the team’s defensive efforts and ultimately takes responsibility for himself.

With a new style, the Lakers will move forward. After being traded, Russell Westbrook’s polarizing time with the team has come to an end. With the additions of Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mo Bamba, Los Angeles created a roster that was more diverse.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis will keep on driving the charge on the court as well as holding the essential obligation regarding benefiting from the redid program.

James averages 30.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game. Davis has 12.3 rebounds and 26.0 points. A bruise on James’ right hand prevented him from participating in the All-Star game’s second half; however, the injury is not thought to be serious.

James’ expectations for the remaining six to eight weeks of the regular season are far more serious.

James is expected to lead the Lakers through the playoffs, and the five newcomers have only played one game together.

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