The Lakers are a team who every one's overlooking a bit with the surging Thunder and the unbeatable Heat, but they've been quietly dominating since that Sessions deal and it's made them a much more complete squad. However, the Warriors put up a valiant effort Sunday night, taking them down to the wire, but losing in the end, 120-112.
There were plenty of positives to take out of this game, but also one huge negative that had absolutely nothing to do with this game that I'll mention in the next paragraph. We'll start with the good, which is the only way to describe the way the W's bench responded after being called upon early and often. Klay Thompson didn't match-up with Kobe as well as he did last week in Oakland, as Kobe scored 40 on the rookie and put him in foul trouble that kept him on the floor for just 27 minutes. Still, Thompson played a decent 27 minutes, despite not being able to do much to slow Kobe, I mean, after all, he's Kobe and when he's on, nobody can stop him. The Warriors even threw Dominic McGuire on him when Thompson was on the pine and he couldn't keep up with the quickness of the future Hall-of-Famer. Kobe put on a clinic, and Sessions did exactly what the Lakers brought him to LA to do, but the Lakers key big man, Andrew Bynum, went down after 10 minutes of play, which gave the Warriors an opening. They attacked with David Lee, who finished with 27 points, and then had him kick out to the shooters, Robinson (17 points/26 mins), Richardson (16 points/25 mins) and Rush, and finished up with a season high 7 assists. It almost gave you a taste things to come next year when Bogut is in uniform and both he and Lee are in the post either taking it to the hole or kicking out to the snipers on the floor.
At the same time, I couldn't go a WRD post without saying at least something negative, and the thing I'm talking about is the same thing that made me livid last week when Larry Riley and the Warriors brass just expected J.J. Hickson to clear waivers and land on their laps in New Orleans where he was all set to sign a deal with Golden State if he did clear waivers that day. Fact is, the Warriors are stupid for not claiming the big man when they had the chance, as they had first dibs before Portland. All the 23 year-old, 6'10, 250 pound big had done in Portland has averaged 16.8 points and 7.9 boards in 28 minutes of play. Don't say I didn't warn you guys. I was saying all along that Hickson was in-properly used in Sac and would go off with whatever team he next signed with and what do you know, he's doing the same thing he did in 2010 with Charlotte. The kid can play and the Warriors missed out on a chance to get a impact player for basically nothing, and a big-man at that, which should have sealed the deal. I mean, this team is signing the Earl Barron's of the world, but they don't claim a good young big like Hickson? That just makes no sense to me whatsoever. Not sure if it was a roster space thing or what, but the fact that Hickson wanted to go to the Warriors, could have gone to the Warriors and should have gone to the Warriors is blowing up in Larry Riley's face right about now!