(News4usonline) — Here we go again. The NBA got the matchup it wanted with the Los Angeles Lakers going head-to-head with the Golden State Warriors. So, it’ll be Steph Curry, the same guy who just dropped 50 points on the Sacramento Kings in a Game 7 in the first round of the NBA playoffs, going up against LeBron James. We can’t wait.
The NBA semifinals between the Lakers and the Warriors promises to be epic. It’ll be James, who just took over the all-time regular season scoring record matching wits with the greatest 3-point shooter the league has ever seen. Both James and Curry have each won four NBA titles.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline
Three of the four championships Curry and the Warriors have won have been against James, when he starred for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry and the Warriors are the reigning NBA champs, having dispatched the Boston Celtics in six games last season.
This is the first time that the Lakers and the Warriors have played one another in the playoffs, so this series should be electric. For sure, this best-of-seven series is loaded with a lot of storylines and subplots to it. Will Curry and the Warriors dominate the games with their 3-point shooting?
Will the inside wall of James and Anthony Davis be the difference for the Lakers? How much will role players like Jordan Poole or Austin Reaves step up and ball out? That could be the difference in this series. We know the superstars are going to show up, but how about those other guys?
One thing we definitely will see is more classy postgame opportunities from both teams, unlike the disrespectful noise coming out of the Memphis Grizzlies’ locker room in their first-round series against the Lakers.
LeBron James (23) leads the Los Angeles Lakers against the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the NBA playoffs. File photo/Mark Hammond/News4usonline
When Dillion Brooks made the ultimate sportsmanship insult by calling James “old,” after Game 2 of the Lakers’ first series of the postseason, he energized the future Hall of Famer and the Lakers. The Lakers defeated Memphis 4–2 to win the series, including dropping a series-clinching 125–85 win in Game 6.
Being “old” is apparently a good look for James now that Brooks, Ja Morant, and the rest of the №2 Grizzlies are at home watching the rest of the playoffs. The next challenge for James and the Lakers is trying to upend the Warriors’ march to another title run. That’s going to be an uphill challenge.
Aside from Curry, there’s another guy named Klay Thompson the Lakers are going to have to deal with. Curry and Thompson form the greatest backcourt in the history of the league. The Lakers counter with the all-around play of James, the inside presence of Davis, and the streaky D’Angelo Russell hitting big shots from behind the arc.
Both teams are peaking at the moment. Both are beginning to play their best ball. The Warriors got the best of the Lakers during the regular season, taking three of the four games the teams played. Does it mean anything in the postseason? Absolutely not. It only means that the Warriors were just the better team during the regular season.
Stephen Curry gets pumped after making a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers in this file photo. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline
The Lakers, the №7 seed in the Western Conference, have gotten significantly better as a ballclub after the trade deadline. The Lakers have added size and more than adequate two-way players to their roster. Ironically, Golden State got some of their big bodies back just in time for the playoffs, and what a difference that made in the Warriors’ series against the Sacramento Kings.
With the Warriors putting the Kings to bed with a 120–100 win in Game 7, Golden State forward Kevon Looney snagged 21 rebounds for the winners. James. Curry. Lakers. Warriors. You are a franchise with a historical winning tradition. Then you have another organization looking to build a modern NBA dynasty. Only one team can win. We’ll see who it is.