The Golden State Warriors will meet the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. These were the #6 and #7 seeds respectively, with the starpower in Stephen Curry and LeBron James to make every contest must see TV.
Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers
May 2nd, 2023 | 07:00 PM PT
Watch: TNT | Listen: 95.7 The Game
For many who spent months breathlessly monitoring the box scores and watching the games on a nightly basis, it may be a shock that both the #2 seed and #3 seeds in the West were vanquished in the first round.
The Memphis Grizzlies had that second spot in the seeding, and got mollywhopped by the sleeping giants in L.A. despite the Lakers barely surviving a rollercoaster regular season that included trading away former MVP Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers after the trade deadline:— Ryan Rueda (@iDude14) May 1, 2023
- Got great role players
- Have the best record in NBA
- Go from 13th seed to 7th seed
- Make the play-in and win
- Beat the 2nd seed in the west
What Rob Pelinka did after the deadline was a miracle.
Executive of the Year. ✊ pic.twitter.com/slqRVAofNC
How bad was it for the Lakers? Wellp the 2020 NBA champions were getting headlines like “The Lakers Are In Danger of Unraveling: Only three games in, Los Angeles needs to make a trade now to give LeBron & Co. a chance at contending this season”.
And it was just around New Year’s that James made an interesting quote about his views on winning while the Lakers were mired in a big slump:
“I’m a winner and I want to win,” James said after the Lakers fell to 14-21 on the season. “And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships. That has always been my passion. It’s always been my goal since I entered the league… Once you get there and you know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to be playing basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA anymore, so we’ll see what happens and how fresh my mind stays over the next couple years.”
That’s how deep the Lakers struggles ran earlier this season; King James had to make it clear he wasn’t just playing basketball for cardio as the Lakers spiraled. But they got healthy, made some roster changes like adding Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell to the squad, and beat the Grizz down in 6 games to advance to the second round.
Lakers’ LeBron James on his rivalry with Stephen Curry and his respect for him pic.twitter.com/JIAqlXi4ry— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 1, 2023
Meanwhile the defending champion Warriors matched up with the 3rd seeded Sacramento Kings and fell down 0-2 before storming back to win four out of the last five games in the series to advance. And poof, just like that, those regular season darlings were regulated to vacation time. The Warriors open their playoff series against the Lakers with homecourt advantage, where they’re notoriously hard to beat.
The Warriors - Lakers series is the most expensive non-NBA Finals playoff series on record on @TickPick— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 1, 2023
The average purchase price for Games 1-7 is $726 pic.twitter.com/2gIg0DI5Er
Curry’s Warriors have famously eliminated James’ teams 3 out of 4 times in the NBA Finals, but Bron got a measure of revenge when he helped knock the Klay Thompson-less Warriors out of the play-in tournament in the 2020-2021 season. Thompson’s back now, and the Warriors will need him to topple the Lakers in this series.
This interaction between Bron, Steph and Klay in the 2018 NBA Finals— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 1, 2023
Warriors-Lakers gonna be a movie pic.twitter.com/DUuMFUSBPw
Who ya got in Game 1, Warriors or Lakers?
This poll is closed
Warriors, they don’t lose a home
Lakers, the Dubs are still tired from erasing the Kings