Lakers vs Warriors Playoffs Play-In a Banner Matchup on Paper

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In this season of working off a delayed schedule, the NBA has decided to tinker with the postseason format and it’s resulted in a match-up that’s mouth watering, at least on paper. Tonight will see in the Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors in a NBA Playoffs play-in game.

This National Basketball Association version of the First Four (so we can call this “May Madness” I guess) features the two teams that comprise the last six Western Conference finalists and four of the last six NBA champions.

Golden State Warriors new logo

The defending champion Lakers are favored over Golden State with the latest odds showing L.A. favored by 4 points per Sports Betting Dime. The Lake Show can be had on the moneyline for -114. The over/under is 219 on this 10pm EST tip-off from the Staples Center, which will be televised on ESPN.

It’s certainly a match-up of traditional powers as the Lakers are 17-15 all time in the NBA Finals while the Warriors are 6-5 in franchise history. LAL are tied with the Boston Celtics for the most all-time Finals series wins while GSW are tied with the Chicago Bulls for the third most all-time.

Tonight’s one-off is also a battle of strength versus strength, the irresistible force versus the immovable object. We’ll see the NBA’s leading scorer Steph Curry go against the league’s number one scoring defense. Lakers center Anthony Davis knows what is team’s primary objective is going to be at that end of the floor.

steph Curry klay Thompson

“We know who the head of the snake is, it’s Steph,” Anthony Davis said yesterday after practice.

“We got to do our best to contain him. It’s gonna be a team effort, not just all the pressure on the guards…We got to make sure we keep an eye on him and stay locked in on him at all times.”

The “head of the snake” has become a very popular colloquialism in athlete interviews in recent years, but perhaps the most overused expression in all of sports media is “defense wins championships.”

anthony-davis

If the Lakers do repeat, this specific phrase that pays will definitely get another vigorous workout.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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