Tip-off: 7:30 pm PDT
Where: Staples Center
TV: CSN Bay Area Radio: KNBR 680
Blog Buddy: Silver Screen & Roll
What's that you say? The Lakers are living in the basement, and the Warriors near the top of the pyramid?
The Lakers, whose front court was basically gifted to them by what one can only assume was nefarious conspiratorial shenanigans, made up of the best center in the league and a top five center masquerading as a power forward? The Lakers, whose shooting guard is considered by many to be a top-10 all time NBA player? Who also acquired a future hall of fame point guard? And against the Warriors, constantly injured and constantly ignored?
Ok, there's a lot more story to tell.
We're just five games into the season. Dwight Howard hadn't played since March and is laboring to get back from back surgery. Steve Nash, having left the druid temple that is the Phoenix Suns' training room, promptly got injured and is out for awhile. They're implementing a new, complex offense that might not complement their roster (with the exception of Kobe Bryant, who's actually having a very nice start to the season). This isn't the Lakers we thought they'd be, what we're accustomed to, and what they will be in due course.
But hell, I'll take it. It's not often that the Warriors, at 3-2, are second in the Pacific division, while the 1-4 Lakers are mired in their own discombobulation. It's worth savoring. And in a way, tonight's matchup is a win-win for us Golden folk.
The Warriors are never expected to win at Staples Center. The team has lost eight straight to the Lakers in LA, incredibly with only one win since the 2003-2004 season. Meanwhile the Lakers have to be looking at tonight as a potential back-on-track game, where they can take out their frustrations on a team they've owned forever. Dwight Howard has his own ownership rights on the Warriors, and he has to be licking his chops.
In other words, if the boys in blue lose tonight, are you going to surprised and disappointed?
The other half of the win-win is if we, well, win. I guess that's straight-forward enough. Then again, any NorCal win against a SoCal team is better than just any win, especially against the Lakers, especially in Los Angeles. And especially one that injects even more panic into the LA-crazed media. No, this would be a savory win indeed.
Right about now is when we observe the elephant in the room: Andrew Bogut is out tonight, tomorrow night, and some other nights in the near future. Pretty much what we feared all off-season, and what we can't afford against behemoths like the Lakers. Despite the win differential and the Lakers' atrocious defense numbers, this is going to be a tough one to get.
But if ever there was an opportunity to come up on a win in a yellow and purple Staples, this is it.