The second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs is officially underway, and fans already had the chance of seeing some big games. Now, franchises are getting closer and closer to raising another championship banner soon. With the Golden State Warriors set to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, it is time for our Warriors Game 2 bold predictions.
Golden State had many ups and downs in the 2022-23 regular season. After winning the 2022 NBA Finals, the team lost multiple important rotational pieces and had nine fewer wins than in its championship campaign. Still, with a 44-38 record, the Dubs managed to secure the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
The Warriors are coming off a seven-game first round versus the Sacramento Kings. After going down 2-0, Golden State bounced back and closed the series on the road on Sunday.
On the other side of the series, Los Angeles went 43-39 in the regular season, finishing as the No. 7 seed in the West. The Lakers ended up defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 in overtime in the Play-In Tournament to officially secure a spot in the playoffs.
In the first round, the Lakers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in six games.
In Game 1 on Tuesday, the Lakers managed to steal a game in San Francisco with a 117-112 victory.
Back at the Chase Center, the Warriors will try to avoid going down 2-0 once again. With all this in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Golden State Warriors for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
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3. Warriors force 10+ turnovers from Lakers
It is no secret that the Warriors must contain LeBron James in the series. The forward has plenty of postseason experience, including against Golden State during his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the series opener, James recorded a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds plus four assists and three blocks.
So far in the playoffs, James is putting up 22.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists plus 1.6 blocks and 0.9 steals a night. He is shooting 46.6% from the field but only 18.4% from beyond the arc and 68.6% from the free-throw line.
Other than his inefficiency from long distance, the Warriors could explore his high number of turnovers. James is averaging a team-worst 3.1 turnovers per game. In Game 1, he had turned the ball over four times while the Lakers as a team had eight.
In Los Angeles’ two losses versus the Grizzlies, the roster had 12 and 13 turnovers, respectively. Because of that, forcing turnovers could be the key to defeating the Lakers.
The bold prediction is that the Warriors will force 10-plus turnovers from the Lakers on Thursday. Should that happen, the Dubs will be in a good position to tie the series.
2. Stephen Curry goes off with 30+ points and 5+ 3-pointers
On the offensive side of the ball, Golden State will need everything it can get from Stephen Curry. The guard is coming off a big series against the Kings and is crucial for the semifinals as well.
So far in the postseason, Curry is averaging 32.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He is shooting 48% from the field, 38.8% from the 3-point line and 83.3% from the charity stripe.
The two-time MVP finished Game 1 with a team-best 27 points, six boards and three assists. He also hit six 3-pointers. The problem was that he went just 10-for-24 on his field-goal attempts, which was his worst shooting performance in the 2023 NBA Playoffs so far.
If the Warriors want to bounce back from their loss, it starts with Curry. The bold prediction is that he will do just that in Game 2. Expect him to finish the contest with 30-plus points and at least five made 3-pointers.
1. Warriors bounce back with a dramatic victory
Despite the loss on Tuesday, the Warriors made a big run in the fourth quarter that nearly resulted in a win. Also, the team will have the Chase Center’s support once again. In the regular season, Golden State went 33-8 at home.
According to FanDuel, the Warriors are the favorites to win on Thursday and tie the series. Currently, the spread is -5.5, which is the second-largest among games with the odds already announced. For comparison, it only trails the Boston Celtics’ -7.5 for their Game 2 versus the Philadelphia 76ers who will likely be without MVP Joel Embiid.
The bold prediction is that Game 2 between the Warriors and Lakers will be a dramatic one. Expect many back-and-forth moments with key baskets and big stops from both sides. Do not be surprised if this ends up going to overtime. In the end, the Warriors should bounce back with a victory and tie the series 1-1 ahead of going on the road for the next two matchups.
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