Western Conference Semifinals Preview – A Question Of Legacy

The series that everyone has been waiting for since LeBron James ended up in Hollywood will begin on Tuesday night in San Francisco. Don’t worry about the fact of this is a matchup between the Western Conference’s sixth and seventh-place teams. This is the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs.

Keys to The Series:

The Lakers have had a number of players take on that third-scorer role since the trade deadline. Some nights it has been D’Angelo Russell, other games Austin Reeves or sixth-man Rui Hachimura. Unlike the last series against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors have firepower everywhere. On nights when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are having off-shooting nights, the Warriors have Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole ready to pick up the slack.

Even though the three Lakers mentioned averaged a combined 47 points per game against the Grizzlies, they might have to get closer to 55-60 points a game because Golden State will put up points in bunches. But a Dennis Schroder sighting on the offensive end could also help the Lakers have even more success.

Finding offense will be the key for Golden State. I know you are thinking how can a team that has the greatest shooting backcourt of all time and scorers all over have issues scoring the basketball? Since the Lakers made their moves at the trade deadline, they have been the best defensive team in the entire NBA. They held the ninth highest-scoring team in the league to 104 points per game in the opening round.

Now with Jarred Vanderbilt and Troy Brown Jr. on defense next to James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have enough length to cause problems for the Warriors inside of the three-point line. Los Angeles is 3-1 this season against the Warriors, with the Warriors only averaging 110.5 points per game. Only the Orlando Magic scored few points per game against the Lakers this season.


Yes, LeBron James is great and can do just about anything you ask and need him to do on the floor. But Anthony Davis is one player that Golden State doesn’t have an answer for. Kevon Looney was outstanding against Domantas Sabonis and the Kings, but Davis isn’t the same player as Sabonis. Looney can’t allow Davis to shoot from the mid-range and when he’s locked in Davis is almost unstoppable going to the rim. The only thing that can stop Davis is an injury, which could lead to a Laker elimination.

No coach in the playoffs currently has more experience in the biggest moments than Steve Kerr. After this series, Kerr can say that he has coached just about every single playoff situation there is. His counterpart Darvin Ham has only seen these moments as an assistant coach. Because this series won’t be a sweep or one that could end early, Kerr’s ability to adjust to situations and moments will be the X Factor in their advantage. You can expect Kerr to make the right decision 98% of the time, the other 2% is covered by having Curry on your team.


This is one of the few series in recent years that you can say both teams can win and it makes sense. The Warriors haven’t lost a playoff series under Kerr with a healthy Curry, Thompson and Green. While the Lakers haven’t lost a series with a healthy James and Davis. So it will come down to this: which of the supporting cast that you can trust to make a difference for a full potential seven games?

Curry showed in Game 7 that he can win a game by himself and he should have at least two games where he does that in this series. James and Davis will dominate in at least two games and the Warriors will not have an answer. This series will go 7 games and having a healthy Anthony Davis with LeBron James in game 7 in San Francisco will lead the Lakers to make the Conference Finals.

The Lakers win the series in seven games. 

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