After winning the NBA title in the Orlando Bubble, the Los Angeles Lakers opened the 2020-21 season right where they left off. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have the best record in the NBA at 11-3. The defending champions have won nine of their last ten contests and are currently cruising on a five-game winning streak.
The Lakers lead the NBA in point differential and currently rank in the top-three in points allowed per game, rebounds per game, blocks per game and field goal percentage. The Lakers stand at No. 1 in both offensive and defensive rating.
Next up on the schedule for the Lakers are the 6-6 Golden State Warriors.
A hot start after winning the NBA championship is something Steph Curry and the Warriors are familiar with. In 2015-16, the Warriors began their championship defense with a historic 24-0 run.
Before the Warriors travel to Staples Center for Monday night’s tilt with the defending champs, Curry explained why he believes the Lakers opened the 2020-21 season with “championship confidence.”
They have championship confidence. Once you get to that mountaintop, it’s kind of an unreal feeling to carry it over to the next season. Obviously, the consistency of how they play, the chemistry — obviously, they have new additions, but they have an identity, and they know how to play off each other. Obviously, Lebron [James] and AD [Anthony Davis] are playing at a very high level, but everyone is playing their role and doing their part.
It’s no coincidence they’re starting off well. It takes a lot to beat them. You have to come in with the right mentality and try and meet them at that level.
Listen to Curry’s post-practice presser from Sunday via Warriors SoundCloud.
Riding a two-game losing streak, Steve Kerr’s rotation will need to lean on Curry to compete with James and the Lakers on Monday. The six-time All-Star has suited up against the Lakers 31 times in his career, averaging 20.5 points on 42.4% shooting from the field with 7.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds per contest.
However, after missing most of last season due to injury, Curry has yet to play against the James and Davis tandem in Los Angeles. A new edition of the Warriors and Lakers rivalry will tipoff on Monday at 7 p.m. PST.