Lakers fans seem split on whether the Kings or Warriors would be a better matchup for their team. The Kings are very potent offensively, but inexperienced, while the Warriors are inconsistent but amazingly grizzled and experienced.
Either opponent would be an interesting and challenging one for the Purple and Gold.
The Kings may not be ready for further playoff series
Sacramento was 3-1 against the Lakers in the regular season. However, that was against the previous iteration of the Lakers before any of the trades they made that transformed them into a very competitive team.
The Kings led the NBA in scoring in the regular season at 120.7 points per game. But they ranked 24th in defensive rating, and this is their first time in the NBA Playoffs.
De’Aaron Fox had a stellar regular season averaging 25.0 points and 6.1 assists per game, and he was named the inaugural winner of the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year award. However, he is dealing with a fractured finger on his shooting hand.
Sacramento was also 24th in defensive rating, and it is a fair question whether All-Star center Domantas Sabonis would be able to contain Anthony Davis, who was dominant against Memphis, especially defensively and on the boards.
The Warriors have all the experience in the world
Golden State has had split personalities this season, as it has gone 33-8 at home, but only 11-30 away from San Francisco while struggling mightily on the defensive end.
At first glance, one may think the vulnerable Warriors may be a decent matchup for the Lakers, especially given how small their frontline is, but fans should be aware of their championship pedigree.
The Warriors have won four of the last eight NBA championships, and as desultory as they’ve been lately, their ability to win big games and knowledge of how to do so must be respected. They won a pretty big contest in Game 5 versus the Kings on the road, 123-116, and they’re fully capable of taking Game 7 away from home, not to mention a road contest against any squad.
If the Lakers’ opponent in the Western Conference semifinals happens to be Golden State, it could give them a stiff challenge, especially given how strong it has been at home. On the other hand, a focused and motivated Lakers team could very well put Golden State away quicker than some would expect.