LOS ANGELES — Well, it all comes down to this.
The Lakers are down, 3-0, against the No. 1 seed Denver Nuggets.
There really isn’t much to say here. The Lakers are going to throw everything at Denver, including the kitchen sink (why does it have to be a kitchen sink?). The stars are likely going to exhaust themselves until their gas tanks are empty (which seems to be happening way too much in this series). Maybe they’ll try to do a different starting line-up that they’ve never done before. Maybe they’ll let Austin Reaves be the #1 option. I mean, it’s worked before, right?
I still believe that the best way to slow Denver down is to let Nikola Jokic get his and shut down the others. But this is proving to be way more difficult than it should. Jamal Murray is averaging a ridiculous 35 points per game this series. 35.
If it’s not Murray, there’s Michael Porter, Jr., whose length, athleticism, and shooting has given the Lakers trouble. There’s former Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has been excellent on both sides of the ball. There’s also Bruce Brown, who has just been a thorn on the Lakers’ side all season.
All of them have been averaging above 14 points per game and all shoot over .400 from three. They have just been incredible.
And I haven’t even gone through Jokic’s numbers yet. By the way, he’s averaging a triple-double in this series (27.0 points, 14.7 rebounds, 11.3 assists).
To be fair, the Lakers have been right there in all three games. But one run or a few possessions can be the difference in a game. And they cannot waste each possession by either settling on a three or missing bunnies. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis should really work the post. Sometimes, they might have to be decoys (yes, I know; that’s weird) and let the others do their thing since they can’t seem to play like their superstar selves at times. Rui Hachimura can continue doing damage as he has all series. Austin Reaves has been steady. D’Angelo Russell has just been atrocious but we all know what he’s capable of.
All I ask for is that they put up a fight in Game 4. If it all ends tonight, it’s been a hell of a season for the Lakers. It’s been the biggest rollercoaster ride of all, considering where they started.
But of course, the Lakers would rather try to do what has never been done before.