Lakers visit Don Nelson and the Warriors
(Sports Network) – The second coming of the Don Nelson era in Golden State
gets underway tonight, as the Warriors host the Los Angeles Lakers at The
Arena in Oakland.
Nelson coached the Warriors from 1988-95 and ranks second on their all-time
wins list with 277. Nelson guided the squad to the playoffs in four of his
seven seasons, including the last playoff berth in 1994.
The 66-year-old Nelson takes over for Mike Montgomery, who parted ways with
the Warriors despite still having two years left on a four-year contract.
Montgomery had been the Warriors head coach the previous two seasons and
posted a disappointing record of 68-96.
Baron Davis and Jason Richardson are the superstars at Nelson’s disposal,
while Ike Diogu, Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy are solid forwards. Mickael
Pietrus and centers Adonal Foyle and Andris Biedrins give the Warriors depth.
Richardson led the Warriors in scoring (23.2 ppg) and Murphy was the team’s
top rebounder (10.0 rpg). Davis dished out a team-best 8.9 assists per game
and also averaged 17.9 points per game. Murphy netted 14.0 per contest.
Dunleavy registered 11.5 points per game in his fourth year in the league and
Diogu averaged 7.0 points and 3.3 boards in 69 games.
Last night the Lakers opened their season with a 114-106 win over the Phoenix
Suns and did so without All-Star guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant is recovering from
offseason knee surgery and watched the game in street clothes. He is also
expected to miss tonight’s contest.
Lamar Odom played superstar for the night and posted 34 points and 13
rebounds, while Andrew Bynum had a career-high 18 points and nine boards.
New Laker Maurice Evans had 17 points and Luke Walton chipped in 11 points for
Los Angeles, which has knocked off Phoenix two straight times in the regular
season after losing seven straight in the series.
Los Angeles swept the 2005-06 season series with Golden State by a 4-0
advantage. LA has won nine of 10 and 11 of the last 13 meetings.
The Lakers have won two straight, four of five and seven of their last 11
games at Golden State.