LOS ANGELES LAKERS (1-0)
at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (0-0)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Golden State -12.5, Total: 202.5
After pulling off an impressive upset against the Clippers in their opener, the Lakers will travel north to face the Warriors on Wednesday night.
The Lakers surprised the Clippers on Tuesday night with a 116-103 win as heavy underdogs. L.A. utilized its bench perfectly and was rewarded with a combined 76 points and a +81 rating from the reserves, including a big game from returning PG Jordan Farmar (16 points, 6 assists). This was all done without the aid of SG Kobe Bryant, who is still out after suffering an Achilles tear at the end of the 2012-13 season. The Warriors did well last season, making it to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs as a No. 6 seed, eventually losing in six games to the Spurs. PG Stephen Curry emerged as one of the elite players in all of the NBA with his great play in both the regular and postseason. Over the offseason, Golden State added SF Andre Iguodala, who should help stabilize the Warriors in the defense department as well as add even more offense to an already high-scoring team. Los Angeles went 3-1 SU (2-2 ATS) against the Warriors last season and is 55-12 SU (but just 30-34 ATS) against them since 1996. In the past two seasons, six of the eight games played between these two teams have gone Over the total.
Can the Lakers extend their win streak and avoid the season series sweep? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Dave and StatFox Scott opened the season 1-0 ATS in Best Bets on Tuesday as Dave took the Magic to keep the score within a dozen points of the Pacers while Scott correctly predicted the Heat would cover the moderate spread at home versus the Bulls. Dave, StatFox Brian and StatFox Forecaster all went 2-1 ATS on their Tuesday picks.
The Lakers were impressed with their win on Tuesday night, and really looked like they were executing Mike D’Antoni’s game plan to perfection, especially in the fourth quarter when they outscored the Clippers 41-24. They scored 116 total points in the game and went 14-for-29 (48.3%) from behind the arc. There were five different bench players that scored in double-digits, including 22 points from newly acquired SG Xavier Henry who was 8-for-13 from the floor (3-for-4 threes) and grabbed six rebounds. Last season, the Lakers offense put up 102.2 PPG (6th in the league), which included 110.0 PPG in their four games against the Warriors. On defense, L.A. struggled last season, allowing 101.0 PPG to their opponents (10th worst in league) and gave up 104.3 PPG against the Warriors. PF Pau Gasol had a solid first game on Tuesday (15 points, 13 rebounds, four assists in 24 minutes) and will once again be expected to perform at a high level. Golden State is one of four teams that Gasol has averaged a double-double against in his career, with 20.6 PPG and 10.2 RPG in these 42 meetings. PG Steve Nash may be 39 years old, but can still be a factor as a general on the court. He dished out five assists in 21 minutes on Tuesday, and last season versus Golden State, Nash scored 16.5 PPG with 8.0 APG and a surprisingly high 6.0 RPG. The Lakers bench will most likely not continue to play at such a tremendous level, so the rest that the L.A. starters received in Tuesday’s game (nobody played more than half the game) will help on Wednesday night.
Golden State was 7th in the league last season in scoring with 101.2 PPG. They scored on a solid 46% FG clip (11th in NBA) and led the league with an impressive 40.3% shooting from behind the arc. The Warriors were below average on defense though, allowing 100.3 PPG to their opponent. PG Stephen Curry led the league last year in three point field goals (272) and was third in three-point accuracy at 45.3%. Curry has been impressive in his 11 career games against the Lakers, averaging 20.5 PPG and 6.9 APG, but has shot only 35% from 3-point range, which is the 2nd-lowest rate against any NBA team. Right behind Curry in on the three-point leaderboards was SG Klay Thompson whose 211 threes were third-most in the NBA last season and he knocked down his long-range tries on a strong 40.1% clip. He had one of his best games last season when he faced the Lakers on April 12, scoring 25 points with seven assists in his 43 minutes. SF Andre Iguodala will make his Warriors debut on Wednesday and has scored 16.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 5.1 APG in 18 career games against Los Angeles. Iguodala is widely considered one of the best defenders in the NBA and has been in the top-10 in steals in seven of the past nine seasons. PF David Lee is a double-double machine, leading the NBA with 56 such games, and has averaged 15.8 PPG and 10.0 RPG in 20 career games against the Lakers. Golden State starting SF Harrison Barnes is questionable for this game due to a foot injury.