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Warriors vs. Lakers GameThread: Luke Walton making an impact

The Warriors face the Lakers tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Oracle Arena.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors return home from their successful Eastern Conference road trip to face Luke Walton and the L.A. Lakers tonight.

And, surprisingly, the Lakers are not that bad this year -- in fact, they're currently sixth in the conference with a record of 8-7. That's right, the Lakers are currently playing well enough to be considered a playoff contender.

Granted, it's still early and a lot will happen between now and April...but this is quite a feat for a team that was mostly left for dead and considered ideal for Walton to grow with for a few years without expectations.

So what's the secret? Lakers forward Julius Randle put the responsibility for their turnaround squarely on Walton, according to a report by TMZ.

...Julius Randle is giving 100% credit to new coach Luke Walton for the team's surprising start ... saying the young coach is pressing all the right buttons.

The Lakers are 7-7 this year -- not exactly World beaters -- but when you consider they only won 21 games ALL OF LAST SEASON ... the start is pretty impressive.

As a Warriors fan who hates the Lakers with all of my being, it's great to see Walton doing well with his new team. And it's also hard to avoid commentary about Byron Scott, but in the holiday spirit I will.

Let's just hope the Warriors hand them a loss tonight at Roaracle.