The Lakers get another shot to close their series against the Memphis Grizzlies. This time around, they get this chance at home.
It might work better for them. The Lakers won Games 3 and 4 in the comforts of Crypto Dot Com Arena. They’ll definitely be helped out by the home crowd, especially with the way they looked in Game 5.
LeBron James looked every bit as 38 on Wednesday. He looked really fatigued after his Game 4 effort, when he went for 22 points, 20 boards, and 7 assists. In Game 5, he had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists but he also shot 5 for 17 from the field. He critiqued his own performance; he said he was dookie (paraphrasing) and vowed to be better for Game 6.
The Lakers will hope Anthony Davis keeps it up; he ended with 31 points and 19 rebounds on Wednesday. Austin Reaves continued to be his steady self with a 17-8-6 line. They hope to get better support from the rest of the Lakers.
They also hope they could stop Desmond Bane, who has scored a very nice 69 points in the last two games of the series. Ja Morant was excellent in Game 5 as well as he went for 31-10-7. And there’s always the lurking Jaren Jackson, Jr. on defense.
Now whoever comes out of the gate energized seems to make a difference here. Because check out the first quarter scoring of this series:
GAME 1: Lakers (+5). Lakers won.
GAME 2: Grizzlies (+11). Grizzlies won.
GAME 3: Lakers (+26). Lakers won.
GAME 4: Lakers (+6). Lakers won.
GAME 5: Grizzlies (+14). Grizzlies won.
Yes. Whoever has won the first quarter has gone on to win the game. These starts seem to have carried the team’s confidence all the way through. So Lakers should try to get the jump on them, especially since they will be at home.
What adjustments will be made? Will Darvin Ham give Wenyen Gabriel and Mo Bamba some run to help Davis out in the trenches? Will the Grizzlies send out multiple people against Davis? Will the Lakers get back to moving the ball faster? Will Memphis finally get some good offense out of Dillon Brooks (20 for 66 shooting in the series, which is .303)?
Will the Los Angeles Lakers close it out? Or will Memphis force a very dangerous Game 7 back to their home court?
All these questions will be revealed on Friday night. I, for one, can’t wait to see how they’ll all be answered.