With the first day of the first-ever NBA play-in tournament in the books, the league moves on to the Western Conference where four more contenders are set to fight for their postseason lives on Wednesday, May 19 (Thursday, May 20, Manila time).
Wrapping up the two-game slate is a highly anticipated battle for the 7th seed between two of the league’s most popular and successful teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.
But despite the leadership of MVP-caliber players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Stephen Curry, both teams have struggled to find any consistent winning stretches throughout their injury-plagued seasons.
James and Davis both missed career-high stretches of 20-straight and 30-straight games, respectively, while injuries to Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kelly Oubre forced Curry to carry the once-great Warriors on his back practically by himself.
But the Lakers’ injury woes are in the past for now as both James and Davis are reportedly ready to go for Thursday morning alongside key first-year cogs like Andre Drummond, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Dennis Schroder.
Despite enduring the longest absence of his career, “King” James just wrapped up his 17th career season averaging at least 25 points per game. No other player in NBA history has more than 12.
On the other end, Curry is perfectly healthy after just playing five games last season, and is fresh off winning his second scoring title, becoming the only one to do it at age 33 or older other than the mythical Michael Jordan.
He also clamped down tighter on his case as the greatest shooter of all time with an NBA record seven games this season alone with at least 10 made threes. He then finished the season with an average of 5.3 made triples per game, another NBA record.
For the first time since the 2018 NBA Finals, even though it’s just for one game, the basketball world will once again be treated to a competitive James versus Curry playoff battle.
And given how these two living legends have traded wins with each other in the last decade, there is simply no telling who will come out on top to clinch that 7th seed.
Game time is 10 am.