The Lakers reminded everyone they are the team to beat in the playoffs. After beating the Suns 109-95, Los Angeles now has a 2-1 series lead over the Phoenix Suns.
Let’s take a look at the keys of the series so far and moving forward.
That third quarter in game 3 showed every team in the league what they are up against.
It was only a quarter, but what a quarter it was. It looked like Showtime was back in the court, and we were back in the ’80s.
So it’s clear that the team needs to replicate what happened there, but what exactly happened?
Making the Most of Three-Point Opportunities
Well, every field goal made (13) by the Lakers in the third quarter was in the paint. That’s incredibly hard to accomplish. It probably doesn’t speak well about the team’s three-point shooting, but it also shows how dominant they are.
Without making a three-point shot, the Lakers blew the game wide open. This situation creates the question, what would happen if the Lakers could actually make consistent three-point shots? Well, it’s going to be very tough for any team to beat them.
Use the Size Advantage
The Lakers have overwhelmed the Suns with their size, and Anthony Davis has played unbelievable with back-to-back 34 point performances. In fact, Davis scored 18 points by himself in the third quarter. Just unstoppable. Andre Drummond has played really well, and when LeBron James decides to be aggressive, nobody can deal with it.
Playoff series are all about making adjustments, but how do you adjust to that?
The biggest key going forward in the rest of the series will be the psychological effects these games had. The Lakers were borderline mocking the Suns in the fourth quarter after they took a big lead. LeBron took it personally with Jae Crowder, and he went after him.
The Suns took a psychological beat down on Thursday night. Devin Booker and Jae Crowder’s ejections are proof of that. They are frustrated and probably feel powerless. How will they react for the rest of the series?