Fresh off having their 11-game winning streak busted by the upstart Philadelphia 76ers, the Golden State Warriors jump right back into the fray, hosting Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers this evening.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (36 - 15) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (27 - 25)
WHEN: Saturday, February 2; 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Oracle Arena — Oakland, CA
RADIO: 95.7 The Game
The Warriors finally lost, but still had one heck of a month
Other than one loss to start the month, and one to finish, the Warriors were pretty unstoppable (baby) for the entire month of January. An NBA best 11-2 during that stretch, with a gaudy +14 point differential. Good enough to earn coach Steve Kerr the honor of being named “coach of the month” by the league.
Also worth noting that those bookend losses were a one-point OT loss and a close game that was tight through the final frame. Oh, and both losses were to some of the best teams in the NBA right now.
Most importantly for this upcoming game against the Lakers, it’s still not clear if Klay Thompson will be ready to go or not. After sitting out against the Sixers for an undisclosed illness, as of late Friday, the Warriors still weren’t sure if he’d be up and healthy enough to play tonight.
Welcome back Lebron, we’ve moved the furniture around since you’ve been gone
Lebron James returns to a different NBA. Since he injured his groin on Christmas day, we’ve seen franchise altering injuries (Victor Oladipo), high profile trade requests and the return of Demarcus Cousins.
The Lakers, as expected, did not fare so well in James’ absence. Just 6-11 over the span he missed, the Lakers slid all the way down to the 9th seed. While there’s little doubt that James’ return will spark a re-emergence from the cellar, it will take some minor miracles for the team to look like a serious title contender.
Miracles, though, are just what LeBron the General Manager seems to have in mind. After Anthony Davis signed with the same agent as James, speculation started to swirl about the two players joining forces in LA. Much like he did in his final season with Cleveland, James has sounded the not-so-subtle horn calling for better players on his roster. While Davis has made all the right noises to indicate he’s aiming for Los Angeles, he still has a full year and a half on his Pelicans contract, so the Lakers could well just end up with recently waived Carmelo Anthony.
It bears mentioning here that two of the players that the Lakers shipped out — D’Angelo Russell (an All Star this season) and Julius Randle — have been thriving in their new homes. With James coveting the questionably valuable Carmelo Anthony and publicly pining for his former point guard, it brings up the very real question of how sustainable any James-led team can be over the course of multiple seasons.
For now though, there’s no trade, and the Lakers will be coming in a little banged up. The most notable absence is Lonzo Ball, who is out with a badly sprained ankle. Rajon Rondo and James both returned in the Lakers’ previous game after lengthy injuries, but you can expect the talent infusion to more than make up for any potential rust.
I am 100% sure that my lovely daughter is going to be amazing in her upcoming talent show.
Also, I think Klay plays and dunks on Javale McGee.