LOS ANGELES — The scene has shifted to Los Angeles as the Lakers and Warriors play Game 3 with the series tied at one.
We’re deep into the playoffs and we still have to worry about the Lakers’ energy at the start of games. Not only that but everyone is talking about the consistency of Anthony Davis. We’ve been saying for years now that the Lakers will only go as far as Davis will take them.
In Game 1, he looked like the best player in the world with a line of 30 points, 23 rebounds, 5 assists, and four blocks. In Game 2, Davis looked more like a pumpkin in the Lakers loss. He had 11 points, 7 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.
To be fair, most of the Lakers didn’t look great in Game 2. LeBron James did have 23 points but only four were after halftime as the Warriors stomped all over the Lakers. Rui Hachimura had 21 off the bench in one of the few bright spots that night.
They also went away from attacking the paint and thought they could get away by shooting jumpers. It worked early but after that, the Warriors went to work and attacked the paint themselves, which opened up their outside shooting. Dubs scored 41 in the second quarter and then 43 in the third. The Lakers lacked that punch on Thursday and perhaps they were drained from their Game 1 win. Warriors also killed the Lakers on the boards in Game 2 by 15.
Being back at home will hopefully boost their energy. The Warriors were notoriously bad on the road in the regular season (11-30) but they did take two games in Sacramento (including a Game 7) in the first round.
As for the game plan, the Lakers will do everything in their power to deny Stephen Curry. He played facilitator in Game 2 as he ended with 12 assists. Obviously, he’s most dangerous when he scores so L.A. will make him work hard for those points. Klay Thompson caught fire on Thursday with 30 points (8 threes) so he’ll be a concern. JaMychal Green played well (15 points) in Kevon Looney’s starting spot (Looney was ill but did play 11 minutes). Will they stick to that plan even if Looney feels better? And of course, the Warriors are living with Jordan Poole’s wild play.
Pivotal Game 3 here as the winner takes a 2-1 lead in the series. Let’s see what kind of necessary adjustments the coaches make here.