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Add Lakers to the List

We know the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz are bad match-ups for the Warriors. Well, the Warriors don’t want to see the Lakers either. This team just owns the Warriors. They know how to play the Warriors.
Why have they had so much success?
* Kobe Bryant. Even though Davis played great defense on Kobe in the first half, Bryant just wears you down. He gets all the calls, so anyone who guards him is going to get in foul trouble. Of course, the Warriors can’t afford for Davis to foul out, so he can’t stay on Kobe the whole game, or after picking up three fouls or so. Only problem is, Davis is the only one quick enough and strong enough and smart enough to defend Kobe (Jackson isn’t quick enough to guard Kobe, if you ask me, he plays defense too high, almost standing straight up, and Kobe is too smart a player not to take advantage of that. Lesson to the kids: get low on defense, squat on that imaginary toilet and keep those arms spread.) Plus, you could argue, no matter who’s on Kobe, he’s going to get his in the end.
*The Lakers know how to slow it down. The Lakers, like the Spurs, don’t try to run with the Warriors. They run when the opportunity knocks, but they want to get into the halfcourt set, run their offense and get the ball down low. They don’t do the get-the-ball-to-one-guy-and-have-him-make-a-play offense until they need to. For most of the game, they hurt the Warriors with ball movement and pounding it inside. The Warriors aren’t nearly as good in the halfcourt set, especially against a good halfcourt defense team like the Lakers. They’re rotations are on point, they’re slow the Warriors down by being physical and they cause problems for bad ball handlers.
*The Warriors don’t play well against them. I don’t know what it is about the Lakers, but the Warriors never seem to play at a peak against them. I do know what it is. Whether its in Los Angeles under the bright lights of Hollywood, or in Oakland where fans crave for victories over the Lakers, the Warriors try to do too much. They shoot themselves in the foot by relying too heavily on the 3-pointer, getting too caught up to focus on defense and playing selfishly as they try to make the big play.
Fortunately for the Warriors, it will only matter if the end up in opposite halves of the playoff bracket. Which is unlikely (both will end up a No. 5 seed or lower), so chances are they won’t meet in the postseason.

Marcus Thompson