The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers are set to meet in the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs after both teams took out higher seeds in the first round. The Warriors took out the Kings in Game 7 to win the series 4-3, while the Lakers beat the Grizzlies in six games to advance.
The Warriors looked like they were going to flame out after an embarrassing Game 6 showing on their home floor. Golden State’s road struggles have been documented over the season and they took Game 5 to set up an opportunity to win the series at home, where they remain incredible. Ultimately, it took Stephen Curry dropping 50 points in Game 7 for Golden State to advance. The defending champions appear to have dodged an early bullet, and we’ll see if they can look more like title contenders in the second round.
The Lakers withstood LeBron James’ absence late in the regular season to make the playoffs, then won the first play-in game to get some extra rest ahead of the first round. James is back, along with a revamped supporting cast courtesy of the trade deadline moves by Rob Pelinka. Anthony Davis was dominant in the first round, and Austin Reaves has started to make key plays in big moments for LA. If this group can gel around James and Davis, the Lakers are primed to upset the Warriors in this round.