The Golden State Warriors are playing another game shorthanded when they travel down to LA to take on the Lakers today. In addition to a basketball game, they’re going to retire the jersey of some guy named Kobe Bryant - which is kind of a big deal too, I guess.
WHO: Warriors at Lakers
WHEN: Monday, December 18 - 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
RADIO: 95.7 The Game
More injuries for the Warriors
Add Shaun Livingston to the extensive injury list.
The solid veteran hasn’t practiced in two days and was ruled out due to “knee soreness.” Shaun Livingston’s knee, Steph Curry’s ankle? Both troubling to read, but hopefully these are relatively minor. Curry will be re-evaluated tomorrow, but at this point is extremely unlikely to be back any time this week.
That leaves G League call up Quinn Cook as the team’s only official point guard. But hey, at least Nick Young is on the mend!
Warriors tomorrow vs Lakers— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 17, 2017
Steph Curry: Out
Draymond Green: Out
Shaun Livingston: Out
Zaza Pachulia: Doubtful
Nick Young: Likely to play
Also interesting to note: the Warriors announced on Sunday that they were recalling Center Damian Jones from Santa Cruz, opening up the possibility that we could see if his recent success in the G League (16.6 points per game on 70% shooting) can translate to the NBA.
Even without a lot of the roster, the Warriors are on a roll
The Warriors come into this game riding an eight-game winning streak, four of which came without Steph Curry. During that time, Kevin Durant has stepped up - averaging 34 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks per game.
Klay Thompson is doing his fair share as well, and he’s shooting the ball as well as he ever has. Thompson is currently averaging 3.5 made threes per game, and hitting them at a gaudy 47% accuracy - the best of his career. In the absence of Curry’s usual blistering contributions, both Thompson and Durant have proven themselves up to the task of carrying the high octane Warriors offense.
Also, lots of credit should go to our backup frontcourt. It’s not often that teams can lose their entire starting frontcourt and survive, but the Warriors’ rookie Jordan Bell and veteran Omri Casspi have started the last two games and played extremely well. Casspi put up 17 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes during the last game, and Bell has put in around 25 solid minutes in each of the last two games (he’s averaging about 12 minutes per game on the season).
The Lakers can defend, but aren’t a playoff team
According to nba.com, the Lakers have a top ten defensive efficiency... ok, they’re AT ten, but that’s still pretty good!
The other side of the court, however, is not doing so well - the Lakers are running the NBA’s 3rd worst offense. “Good” enough for 11th place in the West, three games behind Oklahoma City for the 8th seed. Given their recent returns, this doesn’t appear likely to flip anytime soon, as Los Angeles has lost seven of their last nine games.
This is the second of four meetings between our two teams, so you may recall this Lakers team and know what to expect from tonight’s game. Young, athletic, and not very good at offense - they could still present the short-handed Warriors a challenge if they cobble together an emotionally-fueled victory for Kobe Bryant’s farewell.