NBA Sundays preview: Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors

The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers at the Staples Center. The game will pit the title holders, currently dominating the Western Conference, against the 16-time NBA Champion Lakers, currently sitting at the bottom, in an exciting match-up between two of the greatest players to have ever played the game. NBA MVP Steph Curry and 18-time NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant, will face off for the very last time in NBA

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The Independent Online

Golden State Warriors

After winning the NBA title last season, the Golden State Warriors are now dominating a very competitive Western Conference, proving that they have matured and become an even more solid team than last year. Having already clinched an NBA Playoffs spot, they now have the opportunity to repeat last year’s feat, while also looking to break more records. The comparison with the stellar 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, led by NBA legend Michael Jordan, is inevitable, and they could beat the Bulls’ NBA record of 72 wins. Although that record appears to be within reach, the Warriors should focus on the Championship, and by resting their formidable leading scorer Stephen Curry earlier this week they have already proven that the championship is their ultimate goal.

Player to Watch: Stephen Curry – His admirable dedication is what has turned him into one of the world’s most recognisable and successful athletes. He spends hours hitting threes, and works hard to get even better. He was the NBA MVP last year, but this year he might end up winning the award for Most Improved Player. He is the perfect modern player, able to dribble, penetrate and shoot from behind the arc. Some of the shots he has been making are simply phenomenal, although he makes them look so easy and natural. He has already beaten his own NBA record for threes in a season and has tied the NBA record for most threes in a single game.

Kids now see him as a new role model, someone people will talk about in the future in the same way we talk about Michael Jordan today. I had the opportunity to meet him at NBA All-Star in New Orleans, where I worked with him and his father. Off the court, he is really friendly and has a great personality, which is another reason why people love him so much. He is the NBA Player to Watch this season, so don’t miss out on Sunday.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful teams in NBA history with 16 Championships and 31 Conference titles, but they are currently going through a difficult period. Only four years ago, however, they placed third in the Western Conference, with the Golden State Warriors finishing thirteenth. Therefore, although the situation is tough now, the league goes through cycles and I am convinced the Lakers will find their way back, maybe soon with the right trade or with a great pick at the NBA Draft. With NBA veteran Kobe Bryant in his final season, the Lakers will now close a huge chapter of their history, but they may have already found their future star in NBA rookie D’Angelo Russell, who is beginning to show his full potential after a rocky start to his first NBA season. 

Player to Watch: Kobe Bryant – The 37 year-old is in his 20th and final NBA season, during which he has always stood out as an absolute superstar. He is certainly one of the top five players to have ever played the game and will always be remembered as one of the best of all time. Bryant has been a dominant player since the moment he left high-school to join the league in 1996. His unique drive and work effort have contributed to making him a special player and a true leader, still able to be impactful after all these years, despite the injuries. He has certainly given a lot to the NBA in the past 20 years, and now he can finally see that his passion and talent have not gone unnoticed by the people, who are giving him a standing ovation in every arena during his farewell tour. His final appearance at NBA All-Star in Toronto last month was a great recognition of an excellent basketball player and an inspiring human being.

Who wins? Tweet your prediction using #NBASUNDAYS

NBA Sundays on BT Sport – a live NBA game every Sunday at 8.30pm. This week on 6 March the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Golden State Warriors on BT Sport 1.