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Sport Warriors-Lakers brings its own brand of intrigue

01:06  14 march  2018
01:06  14 march  2018 Source:   sfgate.com

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant wins Oscar for animated short

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One player who isn’t at all doubtful: Lakers forward Julius Randle, a fast-rising player who got the Warriors ’ attention from the moment he hit the scene. “The world knows what I can do and what I bring to the table,” Thomas said after that game. “I don’t need to show anybody.”

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS VS LOS ANGELES LAKERS NBA L i v e STREAMING. WARRIORS VS LAKERS LIVE LINK 1. - Warriors - Lakers brings its own brand of intrigue . For months it looked like a cakewalk on the Warriors’ schedule: Lakers at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night

Kevin Durant (35) shoots a layup during the first half as the Golden State Warriors played Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.© Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle Kevin Durant (35) shoots a layup during the first half as the Golden State Warriors played Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. For months it looked like a cakewalk on the Warriors’ schedule: Lakers at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night, following two days off, and surely a comfortable win leading up to the playoffs.

It might still turn out that way, but this could be the most interesting coaching matchup yet between coach Steve Kerr and his protege, Luke Walton.

Quite often, when these teams play, the Warriors find themselves a bit groggy after sampling the L.A. party scene. This time it’s a local issue. The boys had so much fun at Stephen Curry’s 30th birthday party Monday night, Kerr called off Tuesday’s practice partly because everyone — including himself — could use a break.

Steve Kerr not worried about Draymond Green’s mounting technical fouls

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Green’s three-point shot is underrated in its value to the Warriors ’ offense. When he drills a couple, it opens up the court, forces defenders For months it looked like a cakewalk on the Warriors ’ schedule: Lakers at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night, following two days off, and surely a comfortable

Golden Days, the book from which this excerpt is taken, is a tale of yesterday's Lakers —a historically significant team led by West and Wilt Chamberlain—and today's Warriors , a team that is rapidly building its own legend.

Videos from Steph’s bash reveal some hilarious revelry, including Kerr, Curry and Klay Thompson cuttin’ it up on the dance floor (Kerr definitely has some moves, not to be confused with elegance, and may not be up for an encore any time soon).

Curry is said to be doubtful for Wednesday night’s game, which makes perfect sense on the Warriors’ part. They need to be absolutely sure his right ankle is game-ready, and even at that, they might tack on a few extra days of rest.

One player who isn’t at all doubtful: Lakers forward Julius Randle, about to engage in his latest jousts with Draymond Green — an inside battle that’s about as spirited as it gets.

This dates back to October of 2015 when the Warriors, coming off their first championship of the Kerr era, played an exhibition game against the Lakers in San Diego. Randle, about to launch his rookie year, drove hard past Green, drew a foul, and was seen to be yelling “Can’t guard me!” in the aftermath.

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With a brand -new Cleveland Cavaliers roster, Isaiah Thomas in L.A. and some potential contenders waiting for the buyout market, let's take a look. The Warriors and Lakers are in good shape after the trade deadline. To pay Evans more than that, Memphis will have to utilize its midlevel exception.

They were one of the many intriguing matchups on Wednesday night when the Warriors edged the Lakers in an overtime thriller. “He continues to get better each and every year,” Green said of his counterpart after the game. “He brings a lot of energy to that team.

Randle soon learned that Green can guard anyone, especially when motivated, but Randle has blossomed into a force. He’s an absolute beast around the basket, so dangerous that nobody seems to notice his lack of a jump shot. He just bullies his way to glory, best examplified on Sunday when he piled up 36 points and 14 rebounds in a home victory over Cleveland. He’s been playing that way for weeks, after earning his way off Walton’s bench, and now he poses a bit of an offseason dilemma for the Lakers’ front office.

Executives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka managed to secure two maximum-salary slots for this summer’s free-agent market, clearly targeting LeBron James and Paul George. It had been assumed that Randle, a potential restricted free agent, would sign elsewhere as the Lakers cleared him off the books. Now the Lakers realize they’ll need Randle as they construct the foundation for a contender. If James and George take their sweet time making decisions, it’s possible the Lakers will have to make a call on Randle beforehand.

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Warriors guard Nick Young thinks brands are more important than ever for players, and he likes the way Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has built Big Baller Brand . It ’ s everything. Look at Ball. He’s got his own brand . Nobody thought about that.

As a three-time NBA champion, one as an assistant coach at Golden State and two as a player with the Lakers , it should come as no surprise that Walton brings his own brand of competitiveness.

“He’s pretty special,” Walton said of Randle. “The crazy thing is, I still think he can be better.”

Then there’s Isaiah Thomas, still trying to re-establish his place in the league after his long recovery from a hip injury. His shooting was embarrassingly dreadful during 15 games in Cleveland — 36 percent, and only 25 percent from three-point range — and those figures have only slightly improved (39 and 32) since joining the Lakers.

Until recently, it was disconcerting to watch Thomas try to take control of the Lakers’ offense, at the expense of rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, but the two of them seem to be figuring it out. The Lakers are 7-2 since the All-Star break, and Thomas had his best game of the season — 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds — against his old Cleveland teammates.

“The world knows what I can do and what I bring to the table,” Thomas said after that game. “I don’t need to show anybody.”

Ball is starting to reach that stage, as well, as he tries to be the NBA’s only top-flight point guard who can’t create his own outside shot. He’s proving his point with rebounding, vastly improved defense and his always-sensational court vision, to the ongoing delight of teammates, and he’s hitting just enough three-pointers, with that unorthodox release, to be a threat when he’s open.

Aldridge's double-double fuels Spurs by Warriors, 89-75

  Aldridge's double-double fuels Spurs by Warriors, 89-75 LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points and 12 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs blew a 16-point lead to the injury-ravaged Golden State Warriors before pulling away for an 89-75 victory on Monday night. The Spurs beat Golden State for the first time in four tries this season and won their fourth straight overall to move into fifth place in the Western Conference, one-half game ahead of idle Utah and New Orleans.BOX SCORE: SPURS 89, WARRIORS 75Already without injured All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors lost Draymond Green in the second quarter to a bruise in the pelvic area.

Curry shines in OT for Warriors ' victory over Lakers (3:33). These weren't the ambitious brand of pass-happy, everyone-touch-the-ball turnovers; they were a series of lazy, we-can-do-this-with-our-eyes-closed miscues by a team so assured of its ultimate successes, it doesn't feel like it has to

While Thursday brought conflicting reports on whether LeBron James had texted Kevin Durant about a That potential move could compel the Lakers to get more aggressive in bidding for Leonard, all the Wojnarowski reported that the Spurs “have long been most intrigued ” with the numerous “trade

To the relief of everyone in the Lakers’ organization, and perhaps Lonzo himself, his blustery father, LaVar, is spending a lot of time with his two other sons in Lithuania. In one of his latest and most absurd remarks, he told a Lithuanian reporter that Lonzo will leave the Lakers (and a lot of money) to play with LaMelo and LiAngelo somewhere else in the NBA (Lonzo is signed through 2021-22). “I want to let every NBA team know,” he said, “that Lonzo will go to any team that will take all three of my boys.”

Well, here’s how it actually works, LaVar. There isn’t a single team that views LaMelo or LiAngelo as NBA-caliber players — especially in the case of LiAngelo; the younger brother is just 16. More importantly, no team wants any part of you, and if you insist on bringing the entire family, you could wreck the whole deal for everyone. Heck of a strategy.

Bruce Jenkins is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: bjenkins@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Bruce_Jenkins1

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