March 14, 2018, 10:22 pm
The Lakers (31-36) head to Golden State on Wednesday to take on the Warriors (51-16).
Los Angeles should have a decent chance to take advantage of a short-handed Golden State team, who will be without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. The Lakers have some injury concerns themselves as they continue to be without wings Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and as of today, Kyle Kuzma as well. In their absence coach Walton will be forced to turn to some pretty creative lineups.
With the Warriors very short-handed, Kevin Durant will have his hands extremely full. For the season he averages 26.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.9 blocks and 2.6 3-pointers on 52.0 percent from the field and 88.5 percent from the free throw line. He will likely exceed all those marks tonight with more of the offensive burden on his shoulders.
He will have to overcome a Laker team that was won 20-of-29 games and 8-of-10 since the All-Star break. They are led by Julius Randle, who is coming off a 26-point, 13-rebound game in a win against Denver. In his previous game, Randle outplayed LeBron James, posting 36 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. The Warriors will have a very hard time slowing him down tonight without defensive maverick Green in their lineup.
The Lakers will start Thomas on Wednesday due to the fact that they simply don’t have any healthy small forwards left on their roster. It makes perfect sense as they still have decent depth at point guard, so moving one into the starting lineup won’t deplete their ranks at that position.
Lonzo Ball will move over to shooting guard for the first time in his career due to the roster juggling. He is coming off a game in which he shot poorly (2-of-11), but still contributed with nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks.
-Golden State leads the league in points scored per game with 115.6 points per game compared to the Lakers who score 108.8 points per game (ninth).
-The Warriors also lead the league in field goal percentage with 50.9 percent vs. 46.2 percent (14th) for Los Angeles.
-On the season there is a tremendous disparity in both 3-point shooting and free throw efficiency between the two teams. The Warriors lead the league in both with 39.4 percent 3-point shooting and 81.5 percent free throw shooting. In contrast, the Lakers shoot 34.6 percent from 3-point range (29th) and 70.7 percent from the free throw line (30th).
-However, in 10 games since the All-Star break, Los Angeles is leading the NBA with 40.5 percent from 3-point range with the Warriors just behind them converting 39.9 percent of their 3-point shots.
Projected Starting Rosters
Isaiah Thomas (PG)
Lonzo Ball (SG)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SF)
Julius Randle (PF)
Brook Lopez (C)
Quinn Cook (PG)
Nick Young (SG)
Kevin Durant (SF)
Kevon Looney (PF)
Zaza Pachulia (C)
Brandon Ingram (groin) – OUT
Josh Hart (finger) – OUT
Channing Frye (appendectomy) – OUT
Kyle Kuzma (ankle) – OUT
Stephen Curry (ankle) – OUT
Draymond Green (shoulder) – OUT
Klay Thompson (thumb) – OUT
Andre Iguodala (hamstring) – QUESTIONABLE
David West (arm) – OUT
Time: 7:30 PM PST, 10:30 PM EST
Television: NBCSBA, SPECSN/SPECD, TSN1/3, ESPN
Radio: 95.7 THE GAME, 710 AM ESPN, 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES