- When: Wednesday, October 19th at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time
- Where: Valley View Casino Center — San Diego, CA
- Coverage: 95.7 FM Radio & ESPN Television
There comes a time in preseason where you start to forget when it started and when it will be over. Did you know we have two more games left on the schedule before these games become “real”?
Wednesday night has the Warriors and Lakers facing off down in San Diego for one more meaningless battle. This is a rematch of a game played last Saturday night in which Golden State casually strolled to a 112-107 victory. For anyone who turned the game off after they saw 30-point lead in the 3rd quarter, you missed Luke Walton keeping his starters in long after Stephen Curry and crew hit the bench to crawl back in and make it competitive. From a fan’s perspective, the score ended up close (only a five-point win) but the result was never in doubt, only the betting lines.
What is left for the Warriors to find out in these last two preseason games? Three rotation players sat when these two teams played last weekend (Draymond Green, David West and Andre Iguodala), and my guess is you will see more of this before the regular season starts.
Kerr wants to test funky rotations and see who is worthy of the 10th and 11th spots off the bench. The legend of Patrick McCaw has already firmly taken root, and I was pleasantly surprised with the contributions from Kevon Looney in his first NBA start, albeit a preseason game. In 23 minutes, he scored 7 points—mostly on dunks—and pulled in 9 rebounds (5 offensive); he looked exhausted from the pace during that time.
When he played in the D-League last season, Looney was projected to be a stretch four or five for the Warriors, but focusing on rebounding exclusively could be a great move for him, as he will be surrounded by so many shooters. Can the former first rounder continue to show his worth to the staff?
For the Lakers, every game is a new adventure in setting good habits to breakup the recent losing culture. No Kobe Bryant means young guys like D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle have to step up and lead this team, which remains to be seen. The franchise brought in vets like Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov (on ugly contracts) to establish the culture, but both guys look lost around the youth movement. This is going to be a long year for the Lakers, filled with many more blowouts. Their offense is streaky at best, and they don’t really have a shut down defender in their rotation.
A bright spot: the rookie Brandon Ingram did look good in his limited minutes. The local LA announcers have already pegged him “the next Kevin Durant.” Nothing wrong with optimism, right?
For those excited about the season to come for the Warriors, tune in and watch a lot of turnovers, some ugly basketball and plenty of missed shots. For the rest of us who are over preseason already, keep an eye out on Twitter for the highlights and hot takes on who “made the jump” or “made an impression” during a meaningless game. Hope for no injuries and keep your jersey clean for the real season opener next week.