They did not win any preseason games and they did not count, they were friendly, but the season has started and there is no debut on the right foot either. The Lakers are left at zero, or negative if you want to see the balance and expectations, after a first game at the Staples Center with which they cannot be satisfied. They fell 114-121 to the Warriors who kept them perfectly at bay for more than half a game and who beat them in a final without ideas and with too much loneliness around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who added 67 points.
The new Lakers, commanded by a Russell westbrook past laps (4/13 shooting, four losses, -23, one technique), they collided with what at times seemed like scraps of the old Warriors, those of the three championships and the five finals. And without Klay Thompson and James Wiseman, not yet available. The secondary players came out so that not a sidereal Curry was needed, knowing how to harm the Angelenos at the various points where they were failing. A collective effort brings San Francisco the first victory of the year.
No one could be denied the show. These two teams had starred in a very attractive tie a few months before and something similar was expected, for which the players got down to work and managed to please. Many points, a lot of success, the public rowing in favor, quality plays … But A team as veteran as the Lakers, who have aged the squad to gain an experience that is noticeable on the court in important games, should not let players live whom it can kill, figuratively speaking, and there are two examples of this match: Juan Toscano-Anderson entered between cold and frozen, with three or four errors, and was gaining confidence while they left him; Jordan Poole, a more accused case, started as a starter and without hitting a single one and ended up being totally decisive to overcome the disadvantage and close the game ahead. Giving opportunities to such a well-crafted painting will not even go around the corner.
The teams showed success in the first half. The Lakers came to stay steadily at 60% for many minutes. A 13-2 run stretched the first quarter for the hosts, but there were only LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And they put them in all colors: the forward, taking fouls, with contact shots, at the low post; the pivot, hunting hanging balls or overhead, gaining position under the rim, hitting long shots. Westbrook didn’t work with Carmelo, Westbrook didn’t work with Rondo, and the Lakers’ new point guard’s minutes on the court were beginning to weigh, so Kerr’s men were able to reach the second period with air. The wise work of Iguodala and a pair of baskets of pride from Wiggins kept the score at bay until Anthony, with one of the shots that he must take, put the +6 before the break.
They began to contribute the interiors of the Warriors, something that cannot be copied if we talk about Jordan or Howard, and Poole took the reins on a day in which Curry did not have the day, as he himself assured at the end, despite signing the eighth triple-double of his career. Be careful with this Poole, the coach does not give him confidence just because. Between him and Lee they took control of the rhythm from the third quarter and they were taking to their field a game in which James and Davis were already to save the furniture, which they did with enough skill, but not to continue with the initiative .
The cocktail being stirred by the Golden State coaching staff was joined by a perhaps unexpected ingredient. Nemanja Bjelica was the one who killed with Serbia and he used himself thoroughly, machete LeBron included, to take shots forward in plays that had been muddled. The contribution in defense was also of level and knew how to be glue for a rotation of eleven players in which nine worked. The triples had been even in the last period and the combinatorial game, that of the great occasions, was a breath of air that made the Warriors take the last momentum to win this career game. Endorsing 38 points in the deciding quarter to the Lakers at their own home and on opening day is how the voice is raised.