This Lakers vs Warriors Playoffs Series Marks The End Of An Era
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
— Updated on 17 May 2023

This Lakers vs Warriors Playoffs Series Marks The End Of An Era

— Updated on 17 May 2023

Alright, one more time with feeling. The NBA’s two marquee players, a pair of generational talents armed with their own diehard fanbases, are set to face each other in the postseason for the first time since 2018. Against the backdrop of the NBA’s two oldest and most popular franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, we’re about to see this iconic Steph Curry/LeBron James rivalry play out in what could be the most exciting series in these playoffs.

It definitely feels like we’re at the tail-end of an incredible chapter of the NBA’s history. We’re no longer in the days of seeing LeBron James vs the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals every single year without fail; great performances from guys like Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Curry, and James generally come with an added “vintage” prefix these days.

There are great young teams emerging. Two of them faced the Warriors and the Lakers in the first round of these playoffs. But when Curry scored a record 50 points to lead the former to a win against the No. 3 seeded Sacramento Kings in Game 7, and LeBron led the latter to a 40-point win against the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies… we saw the old guys tell them to wait their goddamn turn.

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“Stop trying to turn the page on us so fast,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “Stop trying to turn the page on Bron.”

“We get so caught up in what’s the next thing, we don’t appreciate the current. Then you get to the next thing and you’re looking back, like, ‘Man, I wish we still had that. I wish we could still see this…'”

“So for me and our guys, we are going to appreciate this every step of the way.”

Despite each franchise winning an NBA Championship in the last three seasons, this is the first time the Warriors and the Lakers have met in the playoffs in 32 years. James is 38 years old and Steph Curry is 35. There’s every likelihood that we’ll never get to see this again.

For this reason, it’s probably not even worth entering the meme territory of “LeBron’s legacy” this time around. In his 20th season with the most points of anyone in the history of the game, LeBron’s essentially playing with house money.

Combine that with the fact that he’s returning from a right foot tendon injury that every doctor – except for one which ‘Bron himself referred to as “the LeBron James of feet” – said he required season-ending surgery for, and you’ll see why this isn’t really the “winner takes all” series we all want it to be.

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It’ll be a lot of fun, though. We’ve also got arguably the two best defenders alive, Draymond Green and Anthony Davis, to dictate how this series will play out, as well as a series of elite role players on both teams. The Warriors and the Lakers are specifically equipped to target the weaknesses of each other, so it will come down to which team can execute the best.

The Warriors are the favourites with -155 odds to win the series. Likely due to being the higher seed, as well as having home court advantage, more time together as a team, the more-experienced head coach, and the consensus best player in the series with Stephen Curry. There’s a much clearer idea of what you’re getting with the Warriors, even if this Lakers roster almost definitely has a higher ceiling.

Here are the dates and times for the Lakers vs Warriors in the Western Conference semi-finals of the NBA Playoffs:

Game 1: Wednesday, May 3 (12 PM)
Game 2: Friday, May 5 (11 AM)
Game 3: Sunday, May 7 (10:30 AM)
Game 4: Tuesday, May 9 (12 PM)

If necessary

Game 5: Thursday, May 11 (TBD)
Game 6: Saturday, May 13 (TBD)
Game 7: Monday, May 15 (TBD)

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 18: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Staples Center on January 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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