Things are supposed to be different for the Golden State Warriors this season. New coach, new players, new attitude…same result though. Last night the Lake Show issued a 120-99 preseason beat down that had the feel of a regular season outcome.
No Kobe, no problem. Brian Shaw steps in for Phil Jackson, same result.
If GSW is supposed to be a different team then that memo never got to Keith Smart’s locker room. For a team struggling to find a rhythm this preseason, the Lakers certainly were in a groove, failing to reach the 30-point summit only once in four quarters.
A game that was close at the half became a romp after halftime. The Lakers, led by Pau Gasol’s 23 points in just 26 minutes, took the pride of the young Warriors. Golden State’s interior D is softer than Shaq’s midsection. Gasol had his way in the paint. Just think how much worse this could have been with Andrew Bynum in the middle. What is most amazing of all is that the Warriors actually out rebounded the Lakers 48-37. That doesn’t happen often. However, the Lakers rarely missed shooting a blistering 56% as a team.
As if the Warriors’ wounded pride wasn’t painful enough, the Lakers added injury to their insult.
While trying to check Steve Blake, Steph Curry rolled his ankle. The young combo guard was having a good night until visions of a shortened season flashed through his head while trying to contain the hot shooting Blake.
Blake had a banner night, his first as a Laker. Getting 25 minutes to do his thing was more than enough for Steve Blaker to drop 18 on 8 of 10 shooting and dish out 7 dimes.
If only we could play the Warriors every night. Oh wait, we do play them again. Tonight in fact!
Hey, it’s only the preseason. These results don’t count but the injuries are real and the messages sent remain. With Kobe scheduled to come back to entertain the IE faithful in Ontario, it could be a chance to put the league on alert.
Or, this could just be another reminder of how much further the Warriors have to go until they’re back into playoff contention.
Either way it is one last tune-up before the ring ceremony. Let’s close this out in style, Lakers!