10:30 PM ET, November 22, 2013
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
The time is almost here when Kobe Bryant is fully healed from his torn Achilles tendon.
Until then, coach Mike D’Antoni will continue to mix and match his rotation, but it seems that he has finally found a Los Angeles Lakers team that works.
Ten players have already started for the team but they’ve had the same starting five in the last four games, and that group is expected to be on the floor again tonight when the Lakers meet the visiting Golden State Warriors.
In the new starters rotation we can find forward Jordan Hill, who joined the lineup Nov. 12 after coming off the bench for the first eight games. Hill set career highs with 24 points and 17 rebounds in a 114-99 win versus the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Steve Nash has missed five of the past six games because of back and hamstring injuries, pushing Steve Blake into the role of the team’s primary ball-handler and distributor. Blake had 16 assists versus Detroit, and five Los Angeles players scored in double figures.
The biggest problem for the Lakers (5-7) has been defense. Rivals average 103.8 points, and gave Golden State the chance to post a 125-94 home victory versus Los Angeles on Oct. 30 — the most points the Lakers allowed this season.
The Warriors (8-4) had a four-game winning streak come to an end with Wednesday’s 88-81 defeat to visiting Memphis Grizzlies in overtime. Guard Stephen Curry missed the game due to a “mild concussion,” and his status for Friday is unknown.
If Curry is unable to play, Golden State will look for better production from Andre Iguodala after he shot 3 of 14 and scored seven points versus Memphis.
Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson will also be asked to pick up the scoring slack if Curry misses another game. According to the NBA live lines, when these teams met last month, Thompson scored a career-high 38 points on 15-of-19 shooting.
That game was at home, where Thompson is averaging 25.3 points compared to 15.8 away from home. The 23 year-old player has put up 18.0 per game in four career road contests versus Los Angeles.