With the Golden State Warriors playing some sublime basketball in the regular season, it goes without saying, irrespective of the opponent, the Warriors are favourites and even more so when they take on lower placed teams in the Western conference.
Once such team -- the Los Angeles Lakers -- are set to host the defending NBA champions -- Golden State Warriors -- at the Staples Center on Tuesday. However, Lakers' recent record of three straight victories might give them enough confidence to at least pose a challenge to the Warriors on Tuesday.
Tuesday's test against Warriors, who have just lost two games this season and have demolished a number of sides in the regular season, will show where the Lakers stand in present form.
The Lakers, who are playing without Kobe Bryant of late, are doing well at the moment. Bryant may well miss the home game against the Warriors as well due to a shoulder injury.
When the Lakers face a quality team like Warriors, the home team will expect their players to rise up to the occasion and take their game to the next level. The Lakers do have some players such as Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle, who can turn up the heat and make a match out of it, but will their best be enough to outdo Stephen Curry and co.?
"Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence, sharing the ball, playing together, competing and that's part of the process that we've been talking about," Lakers coach Byron Scott said.
The Warriors' trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have played their part this season. Curry and Thompson average 29.7 and 20.4 ppg respectively. The Lakers need to find a way to contain these sharp shooters, who cannot be allowed space and time on the ball as they can drill those three-pointers with utmost ease.
Though Curry and Thompson may be the star players for the Warriors, one cannot ignore Green's contribution. Green averages 15 ppg, 9.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists, making him one of the most crucial players for Golden State.
''He's playing at a very, very high level. His consistency is just off the charts. ... It's amazing how he can impact the game.'' AP quoted Curry as saying.
Where to watch live
The LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors NBA live game is scheduled for 10:30pm ET(9am IST) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony Six and live streaming on Sonyliv .
Viewers in Philippines can watch the game live on NBA Premium.
US viewers can watch LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors NBA live game on NBA TV.
Viewers around the world, including those in India and the US, can watch all the NBA live action by live streaming on NBA Online.