How Lakers assistant coach's game plan led to rout of Warriors on Christmas


How Lakers assistant coach's game plan led to rout of Warriors on Christmas

Even with an injured LeBron James, the Warriors couldn't come back against the Lakers on Christmas Day, losing 127-101 in a crushing defeat on their home court. 

The result wasn't just from what happened on the floor, though. It all started with a game plan from Lakers assistant coach Jesse Mermuys. 

Really, the plan was quite simple, and it worked to perfection. Mermuys has been responsible for scouting the Warriors all season long and had a clear message for the Lakers -- guard Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson as tightly as possible. Don't worry about anyone else. 

"I just remember Jesse being really excited at about 8 o'clock in the morning," Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo told ESPN. "He told me he thought he had figured out a great game plan and 7-8 hours later, it turned into the truth."

The trio combined to score for a measly 41 points, averaging under 14 each in the loss. As a whole, the Warriors only shot 40.9 percent from the field and the three All-Stars didn't receive any help. Draymond Green, a fourth All-Star, only made two shot and scored five points. 

That game plan won't be quite as easy for the Lakers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, especially as they play without James, Rondo and Lonzo Ball. Sure, Los Angeles will hound that same trio of scorers, but now there's a fifth All-Star to add to the mix. 

DeMarcus Cousins brings a big-man presence the Warriors have lacked for years. He scored 14 points in his team debut on Saturday, including three 3-pointers. 

As the Warriors seek revenge for the Christmas Day meltdown, they've looked better than ever winning seven straight. Good luck, Lakers. 

NBA rumors: Could Kevin Durant return from torn Achilles this season?

NBA rumors: Could Kevin Durant return from torn Achilles this season?

Could Kevin Durant make his Chase Center debut this season after all? 

Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in his last game as a Warrior in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 10, and the Brooklyn Nets star was expected to miss the entirety of the upcoming NBA season while he recovered. The New York Post's Brian Lewis reported Saturday that many around the league don't expect that to be the case. 

The Nets will make their first visit to the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco on March 12, 2020. That will be just over nine months after Durant first tore his Achilles, and the 276 days between NBA games would put Durant within the range of other basketball stars who returned from the injury within a calendar year. 

[RELATED: Klay should sit out two years, one top knee doctor says]

Durant, who announced he would join the Nets before free agency officially began, playing at Chase Center in one of his first games back from the injury would add plenty of intrigue to the building's inaugural season. The superstar recently admitted that he never really felt like he fit in the Warriors locker room, and Durant's criticism of Steve Kerr's offense serves as further proof that Durant was unsettled during his three-season tenure in the Bay Area. 

As a result, Durant's short Warriors stint will loom large as long as he remains sidelined. If he's able to return from injury in time to suit up at Chase Center in a Nets uni next March, he'll have a chance to turn the page in what instantly would become one of the most-anticipated matchups of the NBA season. 

Warriors' Klay Thompson should sit out two years, top knee doctor says

Warriors' Klay Thompson should sit out two years, top knee doctor says

We’ve seen plenty of footage of Klay Thompson walking around enjoying his summer vacation, but according to one knee doctor, the Warriors star should sit out the next two years to ensure he returns to form.

Dr. Tim Hewett, who consulted the Mayo Clinic and has studied the biomechanics of the knee for years, published a study that concluded athletes who tear their ACL should not return to action for two years. 

It’s worth noting that Dr. Hewett has not done any kind of consulting or in-person evaluation of Thompson’s injury.

“Please do share that with Klay,” Dr. Hewett told Heavy.com. “This is not my opinion. People say to me, ‘Well, that is your opinion, there are other opinions.’ No, I deal in science and I deal in fact. People don’t like to hear it but it does not change the facts, and that facts are that you’re at risk for re-injury before two years and you won’t be the same player in the first year.”

Thompson suffered the injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and both he and the Warriors have not committed to a firm timetable for his return to the court.

[RELATED: Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' championship dynasty 'far from over']

Klay's father, Mychal, said this summer that he expects his son to be back on the court “late next season.”

While Warriors fans likely want to see Klay back in uniform as soon as possible, it's also imperative that he's 100 percent before he jumps back into a live NBA game.