It’s always a fun time when Steph Curry and LeBron James battle. Well, almost always a fun time. If you’re a fan of the Golden State Warriors, there wasn’t much fun about their 128-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers — their second blowout loss to LA in their last six games.
I’m guessing the Dubs didn’t hit on their pregame keys to victory. But let’s revisit and find out.
Keep the offensive momentum going
The key: Keep the offensive rhythm and movement that they found on Sunday.
The outcome: A day after looking offensively brilliant against the Utah Jazz’s second-ranked defense, the Warriors looked truly helpless against the Lakers’ top-ranked D. Their 26 points in the first quarter was their best offensive frame, and they turned the ball over a whopping 22 times.
It was sloppy, stagnant, and out of sorts. They looked like a team playing their final preseason game, not their 40th regular season game.
Give credit to the Lakers’ sensational defense, but the Warriors need to execute better on offense.
Grading the key: 0.5 out of 10.
The key: Smart and spirited play from the young second unit.
The outcome: For as disappointing as the loss was, the play from the second unit was definitely spirited. But smart? Nope, not so much.
The Warriors knew there would be lumps when they turned to a bench unit of rookies Nico Mannion and James Wiseman, and second-year pro Jordan Poole. Tonight was one of those lumps, but then again, it was for the starters too.
Hey, on the bright side, Alen Smailagić made his season debut and was one of only two Warriors players to register a positive plus-minus.
Grading the key: 4 out of 10.
Run, Warriors, run
The key: Get out in transition regularly.
The outcome: The Warriors had 20 fastbreak points, which is about 15 more than I can remember. It’s a decent, yet not great figure, and it was padded during garbage time. The team never felt like a transition threat.
Grading the key: 3.5 out of 10.
Shake it off, try again on Wednesday against a very bad Rockets team.