Steph Curry has been playing the best basketball of his life this season. Curry has been carrying the Warriors over the past few games, making up for a lack of production from the bench. The Warriors and the fans have been anxiously awaiting the visit of that team from Southern California that shall not be named. The Lakers beat the Warriors handily at the Staples Center on Nov. 9 and let the Lakers steal the game at Oracle on Dec. 22 thanks to a fourth quarter Warriors meltdown.
The Warriors are having a better season than the highly touted Lakers, but have yet to quiet the loud voices of the overflowing Lakers bandwagon. The Warriors lead the Lakers by 3.5 games in the Western Conference and lead the Rockets by a game (it could be a half game if the Rockets pull off the win against the Spurs- the game is tied at 89 with under 4:00 to go in the game). The Warriors need to win this game to keep ahead of the Rockets. The Warriors need this game to prove to themselves that they can beat a team that has haunted them throughout their existence in Oakland.
The obnoxious Lakers fans will occupy Oracle, as they always do. It would be deeply satisfying to see the Warriors wipe the smug grins off the faces of basketball's Yankee fans. The task of beating L.A. would be less tall with number 30 on the floor for the Warriors, but the Warriors need to rest their best player for a few games.
Curry's X-rays came back negative for a fracture, but it looked bad last night. He could put weight on it. I would be surprised if Curry played at all. Coach Jackson will probably have Curry dress to keep Curry in the game plan for the Lakers, but he rest. Steph has been averaging over 40 minutes per game since the All-Star break, the most of any player in the league. He needs to give his body a week's rest. After the Lakers game, the Warriors play some weaker opponents (Kings, Blazers, Hornets, @ Suns). Now is the time to let him recover.
Harrison Barnes is starting to realize how good he can be when he is aggressive. He needs to stop using a right pivot foot when he gets in triple threat. Once he cleans up that footwork, he will really be hard to stop when he goes to the rim. If Curry doesn't go on Monday, Klay Thompson needs to shoulder the scoring load and get to the free throw line.