The Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of parallels to their season. Both squads came into the season with multiple All-Stars on their roster, looking to dethrone the Phoenix Suns as kings of the Pacific Division and of the Western Conference. Both dealt with major injuries to their stars, with Golden State losing Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for extended time and Los Angeles missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis for long stints.
And both teams are reeling from social media torment after suffering the wrath of Luka Doncic.
Luka Doncic is literally calling screens trying to get LeBron switched on him, and then proceeding to COOK LeBron.— Guru (@DrGuru_) March 2, 2022
On National TV
Luka Doncic went for 41-10-9 in a win over the Warriors. As of now, I think he’s surpassed Steph Curry in the MVP and All-NBA discussions. https://t.co/QSr74QW57W— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 4, 2022
But when it comes to the standings, the parallels diverge sharply, because Golden State is holding on to the second best record in the ENTIRE LEAGUE. Meanwhile the Lakers are barely holding onto the 9th seed.
The Warriors have used the Lakers to pad their win totals this season, stunning L.A. 121-114 in the season opener, and then again 117-115 in Chase Center when they locked up LeBron James in the 4th quarter. A win against a team with as much name brand starpower as the Lakers’ boast would be encouraging for a Warriors team that has lost three-straight games. They’ve lost 7 of their last 10 games.
How do they have a top-3 record (and they ain’t third) despite all that adversity? They’re either in the middle of an inspirational regular season story that will stand a testament to team building and adversity, or they’re caught in a hellish vortex of injury bad luck and mediocre performances that could eventually drop them all the way down to the 5th seed.
Then I’ll be writing columns like “Here’s why the Warriors are the most dangerous 5th seed in NBA history.” Health is key to any hopes of a team winning, especially when star players are involved. The Lakers have missed the power of Anthony Davis dearly, a special player whose defensive prowess and crafty scoring fits well in a second option role alongside the offensive dominance of James.
“Anthony Davis’ injury-riddled season continued when he suffered a mid-foot sprain during the Lakers’ win over the Jazz earlier this month. He is expected to be out another four-to-five weeks per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, which means he’ll end up missing most of the remainder of the regular season. That’s bad news for a Lakers team currently stuck in the play-in tournament”
Why haven’t the Lakers been able to band together after they lost Anthony Davis to an ankle sprain?— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) March 4, 2022
Why have they been such easy pickings for wanna-be playoff teams?
Why can't the Lakers be more like the Clippers, @helenenothelen asks.https://t.co/2EnY39FSHB
It’s really jarring how injuries rob teams of their potential. The Warriors have made winning without their full deck look so easy (the Dubs have better record than the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks but haven’t utilized a healthy version of the Big 3 of Thompson, Green, and Stephen Curry).
We’re seeing all around the league that when the reality of injury woes strike, no team is safe. The limping Warriors will want to best L.A. for a third straight time this season to build confidence that the remaining Dubs can still rally around each other to feast on struggling, potentially lottery-bound teams.
Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers
March 5rd, 2022 | 5:30 PT
Watch: ABC | Listen: 95.7 The Game
Who is going to win, Lakers or Warriors?
This poll is closed
The Lakers have too much size and will not lose three straight games to the Warriors
Jordan Poole goes for 30+ in a morale boosting W over a bumbling Laker squad