The Battle of California has yet to fail us. The Lakers and the Warriors are playing some of their best basketball. However, on Tuesday night, the Lakers defeated Golden State in a near win 117-112 in game one of the series. That being said, let’s starting previewing game two.
Game One Should Worry The Warriors
In game one of the series, Anthony Davis achieved another milestone in his career. The eight-time NBA All-Star shined in the win, recording a double-double with 30 points and 23 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks. A Lakers player hasn’t achieved playoff stats like Davis’s since Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal. Davis also has 30 blocks over his last seven games; he’s a beast.
The mismatch battle between Davis and Kevon Looney (the most significant player on the Warriors) is essential to watch. Looney, 6’9, has also been on a tear with rebounds, but he’s no match for Davis points-wise, but he’s excellent rebound-wise. He averaged 18 rebounds in his last six games.
The Warriors are open to playing smaller matchups due to their sharpshooting ability. Three Warriors players (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole) accumulated six three’s each in Tuesday’s loss. Steph caught fire in the fourth, rallying the Golden State Warriors to tie the game with a minute left, but his efforts weren’t enough for Anthony Davis and Los Angeles.
Lakers Key Role Players Against The Warriors
The Lakers have defied the odds against the Memphis Grizzlies and plan on doing it again against Golden State. Alongside AD and King James, D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder are key role players who can help the Lakers get past the Warriors in the series.
This series should mean much more to the ex-Golden State Warrior, D’Lo. Russell showed he can get hot, especially after his 31-point game against the Grizzlies. When D’Lo scores over 17 points, the Lakers are 5-0. Russell scored 19 against the Warriors with 9-19 shooting; he was prominent in the second half. He made the biggest shot of the night, a lay up late in the fourth to help the Lakers close out the game.
Schroder has no issue leading a team to victory. He’s done it before; he added 19 points in game one against the Warriors. He’s a tough defender with a little Patrick Beverley when he defends. The Lakers are 11-2 when Beverley scores 19+ points.
Jarred Vanderbilt: He is a sleeper-role player. He held Curry to 2/10 FG and 1/5 3PT with 92% contested shots. Vando’s Vault has come alive, and if he can keep Steph ice-cold while defending him, the Lakers should rout all over the Warriors.
Game Two Preview
Game two of the Conference Semi-Finals is May 4th at 9 PM EST at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Anthony Davis was outstanding in his showing, but LeBron struggled to make jump shots, but he still was able to post a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds in game one. In the King’s last six playoff games, he’s made only six of his 41 three-point attempts. If he continues to struggle, the Warriors can tie the series at one game a piece.
The Warriors are 33-8 at home in the regular season. The Warriors didn’t have much rest when coming into game one after winning a seven-game series against the Sacramento Kings, so a loss at home was expected. The Lakers could be better on the road but won in game one.
The extensive lineup with Kevin Looney and Draymond Green didn’t work out well for the Warriors. The Lakers aren’t a stranger to losing road games, but they only needed one to finish off the Grizzlies in their first series.
Moreover, the Warriors should come out swinging in game two of the series. If they can continue to splash three’s with the Splash Bros and Jordan Poole, it could be a long night for Los Angeles.