Programming note: Warriors-Lakers coverage tips off tonight with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
The Warriors play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday nightin a game between two teams facing adversity. The Warriors will be withoutstarting center Andrew Bogut, who will miss the next seven to 10 days in aneffort to strengthen his left ankle.
RELATED: Bogut shut down
The Lakers just fired head coach Mike Brown after just fivegames, and assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the game.RELATED: Lakers fire head coach Mike Brown
Here are some things to look for in Fridays game:What to do about Dwight: Without Bogut,the Warriors will be at a big-time disadvantage against Dwight Howard, theLakers center. Last season when Howard was a member of the Orlando Magic,Warriors coach Mark Jackson had his team intentionally fouling thecenter.The result was Howard set an NBA-record by shooting 39 freethrows in that game, making 21.It remains to be seen whether or not Jackson will employ thesame strategy this year. If not, it will be up to rookie center Festus Ezeli todefend Howard, and when its not Ezeli, Jackson could go with little-used AndrisBiedrins.Outside of that, look for the Warriors to go small a goodportion of the night, with David Lee and Carl Landry playing up front.Weather the storm: The Warriors need tobe ready for a fired-up Lakers team right out of the gate on Friday. It standsto reason that Lakers players will want to make a statement in the wake of theBrown firing, and theyll likely want to make that statement early.RATTO: Lakers don't do 1-4
The Warriors need to be ready to play right off the bat andtry to take the crowd out of the game early.Thompson aggressive: In a preseason gameearlier this year, Klay Thompson had some success against Kobe Bryant byattacking the basket and being aggressive overall on the offensiveend.Afterward, when asked if that was the plan, Thompson said itwas and indicated that Bryants declining athleticism was the reason. Thatmindset and approach is a sound one for Thompson and the Warriors: Make Bryantwork on the defensive end.