The first two Lakers playoff games in 7 years have been complete opposites.
With the series tied 1-1, the team will have to perform consistently like the second game to win the series.
In the first game, it was a historically bad shooting night. The Trail Blazers were allowing 123 points approximately inside the bubble, being the worst defensive team. Despite all of that, the Lakers managed to score only 93 points, 30 less than the average of the opponents of Portland. This was a consequence of a forgettable shooting night, where the Lakers shot 35& from the field and 16& from three.
When a team shoots the basketball like that, the chances of winning the game are very low. Despite that, the game was close and the Lakers lost by 7.
After the first game, LeBron James said “We didn’t make shots”. Well, in the second game it was the complete opposite. The Lakers made 14 threes, the most in a playoff game in the history of the franchise. The team shot 48% from the field and 37& from three.
Even though it was a historic night, the team can still improve.
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The Performances of LeBron James and Anthony Davis
In the first game, LeBron James made history, being the only player ever to have a triple-double in a playoff game with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists. Besides the impressive stat line, James did miss important free throws and wasn’t as effective as he can be. The Lakers lost that game despite LeBron’s historic night.
Anthony Davis scored 28 points in the first game but missed a lot of shots as he shot 33% from the field and missed two important free throws.
In the next game LeBron stat line wasn’t historic, or even impressive at all. 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in only 27 minutes, but it was more than enough for the Lakers to take a very convincing win 111-88.
Anthony Davis came ready for game two. He scored 31 points on a more effective night, shooting 62% from the field. He was more aggressive, leading the team to win a very important game.
The common factor for both playoff games is the outstanding defense that the team has played. The Lakers have not allowed the Trai Blazers to score over 100 points, even though they have been one of the hottest teams in the bubble while also having the MVP in Damian Lillard.
If the team wants to win the series and eventually the championship, the defensive effort must continue.