The Golden State Warriors might want to request some playoff games in Las Vegas next season because they cannot lose out here. They’ve won 16 games in a row and they look good enough to repeat as Summer League champs. In Steve Kerr’s second game coaching on the sidelines he got quite a scare from a former employer, the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors were able to grab the victory in the winding seconds after Justin Holiday was able grab a miss from Nemanja Nedovic and put it back up to give the Warriors a two point advantage.
Now, the Warriors will take on another Pacific Division rival, the Los Angeles Lakers. Both California teams should have plenty of support in the stands as North battles South. The Lakers have lost both of their games so far, but will be looking to end the Warriors streak and earn their first victory in the desert. Although it is just a Summer League game, pride is on the line between two proud franchises.
Key Players To Watch Out For
Julius Randle: The 7th overall pick made his debut in the second game of the Lakers’ Summer League season versus the New Orleans Pelicans. Randle didn’t play in the first Summer League game as the Lakers refrained from signing him to keep cap space flexibility. He inked his deal about 20 minutes before the game in which he scored 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting. In college at Kentucky, he averaged 10 rebounds per game but just a mere 2 in his first game. His jumper is something he needs to work on, as Warriors’ bigs should look to keep him out the paint and towards the 3 point line. Against the Warriors, look for him to try to get into a groove and adapt to the NBA game play speed.
Kendall Marshall: The former Tar Heel has been quite disappointing for Lakers fans. As someone who has had 2 years of NBA experience, he hasn’t shown that he has been playing on a different tier of basketball. Marshall isn’t hustling like the other young players since he does have a contract for the 2014-15 season with the Lakers but don’t be shocked if you see him outplay the opposing guards. Marshall’s best ability is his passing and if the Warriors can limit the other Lakers from making an impact, the Warriors may have their way. Just in case you had forgotten, Marshall was drafted with Harrison Barnes in the 2012 draft from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jordan Clarkson: The Lakers purchased the 46th overall pick from the Washington Wizards at $1.8 million to draft this kid. To say they like him is an understatement. He made them look good at the Lakers’ first Summer League game against the Raptors. In that first game, he dropped 21 points. Don’t forget to throw in his four rebounds, three assists, and two steals into the stat line. In his junior year at Missouri he transferred in and averaged nearly 18 points a contest. He is a 6’5’’ point guard who has a strong ability to finish at the rim. His size makes him a versatile defender as his 6’8’’ wing span allows him to keep up with the average shooting guard and he has enough lateral quickness defend point guards. It will be quite interesting to see him guard Justin Holiday, Orlando Johnson, and Aaron Craft.
Keys To Victory
Justin Holiday will need another big game to give the Warriors their 17th win in a row. The Warriors also have Nemanja Nedovic, Orlando Johnson and Aaron Craft, it will be interesting to see how they do against Marshall and Clarkson. The Lakers have Randle and he is a load to handle, so Ognjen Kuzmic and James Michael McAdoo will have to hit the glass and prevent second chance opportunities. The Warriors have athletic wings and that could be something they take advantage of early on. Holiday must get some quick baskets and the rest of the Warriors must out hustle this Lakers squad.
Craft has to be a floor general out there and create for the rest of his teammates. The Warriors must shoot the ball much better, but regardless must continue attacking the basket. As a whole, the team will need to limit its turnovers as they had 24 last game. It is expected for the players to be on different pages but in order to win the turnovers need to be limited to a minimum.
L.A. Lakers at Golden State Warriors
7:00 p.m. PST, July 14, 2014
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: NBA TV