Little has been talked about in regards to the Lakers recent game action in the last week. Instead, all the focus has been on the return of their superstar Kobe Bryant, as he joined the team at practice last Friday and continued practicing into this week. Maybe rightfully so, Bryant has dominated the media attention, to the point of media members live-tweeting from practice with Bryant’s involvement.
For the active roster, tonight is a big game. With the team hanging around the .500 mark, tonight’s game could be a big mental leap. The Lakers have not won back-to-back games this year. After winning Sunday, the Lakers could not only buck the trend, but further define their season. But it’ll be no easy task against a Warriors squad that has proven to be much better than last year’s squad.
Golden State is battling their own injury issues, with Steph Curry missing time recently and backup Toney Douglas being out with his own injury issues. Nevertheless, Curry is expected back, making the Warriors ever more dangerous.
X-FACTOR OF THE NIGHT
Pau Gasol. Gasol battled a respiratory illness, evidenced by his severe drop in production. However, Gasol is healthy and back to full speed. Tonight, he’s drawn up interest around the league with his promise of donations to the Philippines, depending on his production on the night.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) November 20, 2013
Gasol has been matched by some prominent people, including former Laker coach Phil Jackson.
@paugasol i’m in for $50 per point, $50 per rebound, and $1000 for every charge taken, mi compadre
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) November 21, 2013
So not only Gasol’s production important to the Lakers tonight, but important to the Philippines.
NUMBER OF THE NIGHT
55.6. As in the percentage Golden State shot from three in the first meeting between the two. In total, they were 15 of 27, with 7 of those coming from the starting backcourt of Curry and Klay Thompson. Tonight, the Lakers will not only have to slow down the “Splash Bros” in the backcourt, but also slow down the production of the entire team from beyond the arc.
No matter what I predict tonight, the opposite will happen. Call me crazy, but this team is revitalized by Bryant’s return. In front of their home crowd, against a division opponent, the Lakers will come out sharp. Part of me thinks they can win this. Another part of me thinks the Warriors are too high octane. I think the Lakers will win out, so I predict a 115-102 Warriors victory (REVERSE JINX!!!).
See if the Lakers can get the victory over the Warriors tonight! Get your Lakers tickets now!