Skip to content

THE SHOWTIME LAKERS VS THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

By Will Baldwin

@Baldwin31

Pre-Series Information

Rules: 2017-18 NBA Official Rules
​Home Court: Showtime Lakers (To make up for Rules)
                        Game 1: Los Angeles Forum
                        Game 2: Los Angeles Forum
                        Game 3: Oracle Arena
                        Game 4: Oracle Arena
                        Game 5: Los Angeles Forum (If Necessary)
                        Game 6: Oracle Arena (If Necessary)
                        Game 7: Los Angeles Forum (If Necessary)

Comparing Personnel

Point Guard: Magic Johnson vs Stephen Curry
                       Advantage: Showtime

In a matchup of arguably the two greatest point guards in NBA history, the advantage goes to the man known around the world as simply, Magic.

Shooting Guard: Byron Scott vs Klay Thompson
                               Advantage: Golden State

Both are great long distance shooters but, only one is capable of scoring 37 in a quarter while simultaneously defending your best guard.

Small Forward: James Worthy vs Kevin Durant
                             Advantage: Golden State

Although they will both reside in Springfield forever, only one of them is arguably the most diverse scorer in the history of the NBA.

Power Forward: A.C. Green vs Draymond Green
                              Advantage: Golden State

Each Green can only be described as a ‘character’ however, there is just one of them who has won the defensive player of the year award.

Center: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs Javale McGee
               Advantage: Showtime

One has the record for most league MVP’s while the other has the record for most ‘Shaqtin” MVPs. 

Bench: Showtime vs Golden State
              Advantage: Showtime

Although the Warriors have a former finals MVP on their bench, the rest of it is a mismatch in favour of Showtime.

Coach: Pat Riley vs Steve Kerr
              Advantage: Showtime
The NBA’s current version of ‘The Godfather’ was once the league’s best coach and this matchup with another former player, he still holds a serious advantage.

The X Factors

Picture

For Showtime to Win:

Finding mismatches and executing will be everything for Showtime. The Warriors simply have no answer defensively for either of the Lakers best players. For Magic, he must find a way to get into the lane and get his teammates involved and for Kareem, he must force the Warriors to not play small by dominating in the low post. Another massive factor that Head Coach Pat Riley needs to address is the fact his Lakers have never seen an offence quite like the Warriors movement, off-ball screen, ball movement system. If the Lakers are to have any chance, they have to find a way to limit Golden State’s three point oppurtunities and force them to create offence in an area where Los Angeles can use their physicality. Overall, the Showtime Lakers must find a way to play their fast paced, open floor system while also, taking advantage of their physicality. 

Picture

For The Warriors to Win:

The Lakers have simply put, never seen any three players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson. Curry’s use of the three ball will likely constantly catch the Lakers off guard all series and so, it is imperative he takes this to his advantage by shooting from everywhere and running his defender around screens for 48 minutes. Durant on the other hand will be massive for his ability to dominate the in-between. Meaning, the mid-range has to be where he goes to work, forcing the Lakers to have to collapse, opening up space for his teammates. Thompson though may have the hardest task. On offence, he must find a way to contribute consistently and efficiently both from behind the arc and also, inside of it. Defence however, is where Thompson can win his team the series as he will be guarding Magic. The job he does in this matchup will likely define the series. Finally, Head Coach Steve Kerr has to find a way for his team to force the Lakers to go small, otherwise Kareem could dictate everything that happens. Overall, each Warriors star has to be a star in this series and, they must find a way to force the Lakers into their small ball world.  

How It All Plays Out

Game 1: Los Angeles Forum
Golden State 122 
Los Angeles 100

Game 1 sees a blowout as the Warriors offence blitzes the Lakers unlike anything they have ever seen before.

Game 2: Los Angeles Forum
Golden State 96
Los Angeles 118

Game 2 also offers a blowout but in a different way as the Lakers run all night on the Warriors as Magic dominates in the open floor from the tip.

Game 3: Oracle Arena
Los Angeles 105
Golden State 110

In the series’ first close game, the Warriors have an explosive third quarter lead by Stephen Curry and although Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finally finds his game in the fourth, the comeback bid falls short. 

Game 4: Oracle Arena
Los Angeles 99
Golden State 96

Following a great fourth quarter in Game 3, the Lakers ride Kareem all night as the big man forces the Warriors to play with a type of physicality they struggle to answer. 

Game 5: Los Angeles Forum
Golden State 104
Los Angeles 117

Byron Scott and James Worthy each have their best games of the series as the Warriors are forced to double Kareem all night, leading to massive amounts of space for his wing teammates to enjoy. 

Game 6: Oracle Arena
Los Angeles 99
Golden State 110

This one will be remembered as the Klay Thompson game as the Warriors guard goes for 40 points, constantly leaving the Lakers wondering how exactly to defend him. 

Game 7: Los Angeles Forum
Golden State 102
Los Angeles 104

The Warriors never find an answer for either Kareem or Magic on defence yet somehow, their shooting manages to keep them in the game, culminating in a lead after three quarters and for much of the fourth. Unfortunately for Warriors fans, late game execution burns them down the stretch as the Lakers pull off a comeback in the fourth, capped off by a Magic Johnson drive and dish to James Worthy for an open midrange jumper with about five seconds on the clock. The Warriors then come down and get the switch they want with Magic guarding Steph however, the bigger guard manages to provide just enough of a contest to force the Curry three at the buzzer to just miss. Showtime wins.

What Won the Series?

Picture

MVP: Magic Johnson

At the height of his powers, Magic Johnson was unstoppable particularly in the open floor and, the Warriors never found an answer. Although Thompson was able to do an admirable job, Magic was able to consistently find way too much space in the open floor. The other thing that really changed the series was the integration of Kareem into the offence. At first, the Lakers struggled to find a way to get the big man the ball however, eventually his size and physicality proved too much for the Warriors to handle. The thing is though, the Warriors had multiple oppurtunities to win this series but could not capitalize. They shot well consistently and their stars generally played well, it was just another case of them struggling down the stretch to execute, especially when the Lakers turned up the physicality. 

In the end, it was an extremely competitive series that went the distance but ultimately, Showtime proved itself superior in this battle of the dynasties. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: