The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Washington Wizards, but face a Golden State Warriors team that they've had decent success against. What's worse for the Warriors is that they might be without Stephen Curry tonight.
Tip-off is scheduled for Monday at 10:30 pm ET at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Odds Unavailable Due to Curry's Status
Normally, you might consider Golden State to be a moderate favorite at home against the Lakers. Without Curry, the NBA odds should be close to even. Even though the Warriors have had the better season, Los Angeles has dominated this series.
Lakers Dominance Over GS
In their last 19 meetings, the Lakers have beaten the Warriors 18 out of 19 games. Golden State has lost an amazing 32 of their last 36 games to Los Angeles and have won only 3 of their last 18 games at home.
We have to remember that a lot of these losses were before Curry was a member of the Warriors, but that's pure dominance. Not to mention, his status for this game is up in the air.
The absence of Stephen Curry would be a huge blow to the Warriors in this game. He's averaging 30.2 points and shooting 59.6% from 3-point range in the Warriors last five victories.
He's definitely the difference in this game and while the Lakers have just a 2 game lead over the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, LA need's this game in the worst way and would love to see Curry sit this one out.
Golden State will be content in knowing that they have Jarrett Jack as a replacement if Curry is unable to play. Jack normally gets plenty of playing time and can start on a lot of NBA teams. He's averaging 13.2 points, 5.5 assists, and 3 rebounds per game.
In his last 3 games against the Lakers, he's played especially well, averaging 16 points and 6.5 assists per game. This game should be a dogfight with David Lee and Klay Thompson leading the way for the Warriors along with Jack.
One of the NBA's All-Time Greats
We're talking about The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant. Bryant has feasted off of the Warriors in their head to head meetings, averaging 30.6 points in his last 31 games against Golden State.
Let's face it, Bryant can score 30, 40, or even 50 points at any time. It's a matter of how involved he need's the rest of the team to be in order for them to be at their best.
The Lakers will need to be at their best. They gave up an 18 point lead to Washington in the 2nd half of their last game. Coach Mike D'antoni has expressed his displeasure with the team’s latest performance. Will they respond in a crucial game like this is the question?
D'antoni didn't give Antawn Jamison hardly any "PT" at the beginning of the season, but has come to the realization that Jamison still has game in his almost 37 year old body. Jamison has stated that he's going to play through his wrist pain, and with Los Angeles back at full force, they can make a concerted effort to make their way into the playoffs and go well beyond.
Jamison averages 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 21.7 minutes this season. His playing time has increased drastically as the season has went along and so has his production. This should be a good spot for the Lakers, especially if Stephen Curry is unable to play.
Curry's status is unknown, but I can't imagine Golden State taking risks with their franchise player. The Lakers are coming off of a demoralizing loss but have dominated the Warriors for years. Look for Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard to have big games. They know that the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks are both breathing heavily on their backs to get the 8th playoff spot as the season is winding down.
NBA Pick - Los Angeles Lakers