Monta vs. Kobe! The Lakers invade the Oracle tonight. We’re hoping that the newly super-charged Warriors can get an upset win, but let’s be real, all eyes will be focused on the battle of one-named wonders. Can Monta do to Kobe what he did to Brandon Roy?
There are a few other interesting storylines: Rony Turiaf practiced yesterday, and may be available. I’m kind of doubtful that he plays in this game, but wouldn’t it be great if he did? And how about this: Devean George is alive! He also practiced yesterday, and might be available. George might be useful to feed to Ron Artest, after he gets done munching on Anthony Morrow.
And then there’s Vlad Rad on Pau Gasol. This is Vlad’s chance to show Big Chief Triangle what the Lakers might have done to the Celtics if Don Nelson had replaced Phil Jackson in the finals, and the Lakers had run, run, run, rather than walked the ball up the court. Can he drop a few big threes on Gasol’s head? Can he hold him off the boards? Can he beat him down court? If I can peel my eyes away from Monta and Kobe, this is the matchup I’ll watch.
The Warriors are +9 home dogs to the mighty Lakers. Obviously, the bookies still don’t believe in the Warriors’ resurgence that we’ve witnessed in the last three games. Or perhaps they just believe more in the Lakers’ all-star roster.
I will be guest-recapping this game for my friends at Golden State of Mind. If you’re not already familiar with this site, it’s one of my favorite places to read about all things Warriors. Check it out.
Bobcats Update: The Bobcats beat the Cavs 94-87 last night. They have now won three straight, and are 5-1 ATS since the Jackson trade, 4-1 ATS since I began the Bobcats Bet. Gerald Wallace played Lebron even with an assist from Stephen Jackson in the fourth quarter. This is what Jackson did to the Cavs’ starting 2-guard, Anthony Parker: 0 for 4.
And on offense, Jack is starting to find his groove. Here’s Gerald Wallace:
[The Jackson trade] made a huge difference, Wallace said, for [the Bobcats'] playmaking ability. Wallace recalled a sequence where the Bobcats successfully ran the same play through Jackson five straight times.
“We’ve never been able to do that against Cleveland – make them adjust to our offense,” Wallace explained.
Tonight, the Bobcats play back-to-back against the Wizards in Washington. They are +3.5 road dogs. Again, this is a tighter spread than we’ve seen in the past, which is something to be concerned about. But I’m still on the Bobtrain.
The ever insightful Atma Brother One over at GSoM has dropped a tight recap of the state of the Warriors going into this Lakers game.
After Don Nelson made a strong point to him by benching him against the Knicks, Stephen Curry has vowed to start playing with more aggression. Coach Smart lit into him at half-time of the Mavericks game with the same message. Will he bring it tonight against the Flopping Fish? Marcus Thompson elaborates.