WHEN: Wednesday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. PST
WHERE: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
LISTEN: 95.7 The Game
BUDDY BLOG: Silver Screen and Roll
Golden State: DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles rehab), Draymond Green (knee soreness), out.
Los Angeles: Josh Hart (hamstring), questionable. Moritz Wagner (knee contusion), out.
Your back-to-back defending champion Golden State Warriors are heading to Las Vegas for perhaps the most anticipated preseason game of the year so far, as they’ll face the Los Angeles Lakers led by one-time Laker enemy — now Laker hero — LeBron James.
LeBron James comes to the Dubs’ backyard
As everyone pretty much knows by now, familiar foe and archrival LeBron James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers; a commitment he wasn’t willing to make with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s looking like James is intending to settle down in Hollywood for the foreseeable future.
Not only did he switch from the Eastern to the Western Conference for the first time in his career — he has also put himself in the same division as the Warriors, which sets him up to face them four times during the regular season.
James isn’t a stranger to losing to the Dubs four times in a year. Also, he can potentially see this four times in the regular season:
Durant dagger game 3. 2017 vs 2018 pic.twitter.com/pI2ln6T6Gl— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) June 7, 2018
Even James himself admits that his Lakers are far from being a major threat to the Warriors’ status as the kings of the West:
“We got a long way to go to get to Golden State. They can pick up right where they left off starting with training camp if they start today or whenever they start. We’re picking up from scratch, so we’ve got a long way to go ... Hopefully someday we can put ourselves in a position where we can compete for a championship, as Golden State has done for the last few years.”
The Lakers may not be a major obstacle to the Warriors’ quest for a third straight championship, but with James in the mix, you can be sure that all four regular season games will be mini-spectacles worth tuning into.
The first regular season meeting between the Warriors and the Lakers will be on Christmas Day at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors are excited but not threatened by the Lakers
Naturally, some of the Warriors’ players were asked about the prospect of facing James’ Lakers four times in a year. Stephen Curry had this to say in an interview with USA Today:
“I don’t know what they’re going to be as a team, because obviously it’s brand new and they don’t have their identity. But at the end of the day they’ll come together with LeBron leading the charge ... It’s going to be fun for fans, playing (more) in the regular season and who knows in the playoffs. So the West obviously got stronger with LeBron but you’ve still got to beat us.”
Draymond Green, being the confident and outspoken guy that he is, had this to say about James and the Lakers in an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears:
“That is great. He was able to make a decision he wanted to make regardless of whatever anyone thought. To see someone make that kind of decision is always exciting to see ... Teams worry about us. We don’t worry about nobody. We are the champs. Why do we have to worry about anybody? They have to worry about us. They say we are ruining the league. I love it!”
Warriors fans should take a cue from Steve Kerr’s mentality when dealing with the Lakers this season:
“I am not going to give that any thought because I got my own team to worry about.”
The only team at this point that can truly beat the Warriors are the Warriors themselves. Even with James and a promising young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball they are far from being a threat to the Warriors’ championship aspirations.
With that said, any game that has the Warriors facing off against James is sure to be a must-watch. Add in the Lakers factor, and it becomes even more mouth-watering. It may only be the preseason, but this is one game you cannot miss.
A fan favorite now on the other side
Two-time NBA champion JaVale McGee, a fan favorite of Dub Nation, has now signed with the Lakers. A lot of Warriors fans were sad to see him go, but it was inevitable that he and the team had to part ways and move on.
It’s going to be weird to see him in the purple and gold for this season. We miss you JaVale, and we’re going to root for you to do well — just not well enough for your new team to win.