The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are booked for a head-on collision in the second round of the NBA playoffs. More importantly, LeBron James and Stephen Curry are once again battling it out after the regular season to continue an all-time great rivalry that has captivated fans around the globe. We are treated to this showdown after the Lakers took care of business against the inexperienced Memphis Grizzlies while Stephen Curry’s 50-point performance in Game 7 against the Sacramento Kings thrust the Golden State Warriors into the second round.
This matchup won’t be easy by any means since the Lakers and Warriors have a ton of championship experience and will want to win this series at all costs. Los Angeles has LeBron James and Anthony Davis to steer the ship under rookie head coach Darvin Ham while Golden State has the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green returning with Andrew Wiggins nearly back to full force under head coach Steve Kerr. This will be an iconic matchup for the ages and we all can’t wait for Game 1 on Tuesday to happen.
When looking at both teams, it is clear that either side can win depending on some circumstances but there can only be one winner. Specifically, if the Lakers are healthy, they have a massive advantage over the Warriors. Golden State has the best point guard in the world in Stephen Curry and a ton of experienced members including Thompson, Green, Wiggins, and Kerr, but Los Angeles will have the most confidence entering that matchup.
With the second round of the playoffs upon us, here are the five major reasons why the Los Angeles Lakers will defeat the Golden State Warriors and progress to the Western Conference Finals of the 2022-23 NBA Playoffs.
5. Energy And Defense
The Lakers have completely changed their roster since the trade deadline, meaning they have what it takes to get the job done in the biggest stages. They took out Memphis in the first round this year despite the fact that the team finished second in the West, and even manhandled them in the closeout Game 6. No matter the circumstances since the trade deadline, the Lakers have proved they can get the job done and a lot of that boils down to their energy and defense.
Against the Warriors in an exciting showdown, it is almost certain that Los Angeles will show up at their best. With LeBron James on the roster leading the pack, the Lakers can make adjustments to the circumstances and that means Golden State will be up against a team filled with energy and defensive leadership.
D’Angelo Russell is an energy bundle who is posting 16.7 PPG and 5.8 APG in the playoffs and is a perfect fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis as a spot-up shooter and ball-handler. He will put pressure on the Warriors' defense without a doubt. Jarred Vanderbilt is an elite defender who will likely see plenty of Stephen Curry. Reaves is 24 years old and can compete hard on both ends as he relishes the challenge against the experienced Warriors. Rui Hachimura, Dennis Schroder, Malik Beasley, and Wenyen Gabriel are all young and play hard with speed and tenacity. The Lakers also have Anthony Davis down low and he is a dominant defender as we saw against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.
The Lakers can defend multiple positions at an elite level and have the personnel to truly make lives difficult for the Warriors players. The extra days of rest afforded to the Lakers for closing out Memphis on the weekend will also come into play since the Warriors will only have one day of rest. Energy and defense are keys in this series and the Lakers have those advantages heading into the second-round matchup.