The Los Angeles Lakers lost in Game 4 of the NBA Finals (108-101 to the Cleveland Cavaliers) on Sunday night. LeBron James finished with a triple-double, and the Lakers fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals
After the Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 4 of their playoff series against the Houston Rockets, most people wanted to jump on the “LeBron is a bum” bandwagon. However, he is still one of the best players in the world and he can still carry a team to the NBA finals, despite the loss of their best player.
The end of the 2016-17 NBA season hasn’t even begun, and already, LeBron James’ Lakers have lost a playoff series to the heavily favored golden state Warriors. According to many LOS ANGELES fans, the failure is all on LeBron. In Game 3, he missed two free throws with the Lakers down three, and in Game 4, he missed two more free throws with the Lakers down two, which led to key turnovers that eventually led to the Warriors’ victory.. Read more about and let us know what you think.
Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 4 of their first round series against the Phoenix Suns With the series now tied 2-2, all eyes are on the decisive fifth game. However, the Lakers will be out of the game again without knowing the health of their superstar Anthony Davis who was unable to play in the second half Sunday due to a groin strain. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis is listed as day-to-day despite escaping a more serious injury. This means that his status is not known with certainty until he has undergone further testing. But since basketball doesn’t stop for anyone in the postseason, LeBron James and the Lakers need to adjust to this situation as soon as possible. Here are four things they should do in Game 5.
LeBron, James and Marc Gasol playing together
The Lakers scored 18 points in 12 fourth quarter sessions when LeBron and Gasol were on the court together. That equates to 1.5 points per ball possession. That’s one way to find the offense, especially if Davis is there in Game 5. If LeBron and Gasol get minutes together, other series may pass them by. Gasol did well in Game 4 with 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists. LeBron, meanwhile, had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. More good attacks from Bron PF and Gasol C. Caruso’s screen brings a switch that LeBron can attack without helping Ayton at the rim. LOS ANGELES scored 18 points off 12 Bron Gasol turnovers in the fourth quarter. 1.5 points per ball possession!!! pic.twitter.com/VzNkB4JfLe – Crangis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) May 31, 2021 Here’s another high powered Lakers offense with Gasol at the C position and Bron at the PF position. AC’s back screen for LeBron rebounds off 2 defenders and opens up Caruso for the third shot. If the defense changes, Bron puts a smaller player with space around him. pic.twitter.com/Yn6iIDLZ4y – Crangis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) May 31, 2021
LeBron James must go nuclear
It will take a lot, but LBJ can’t help but play with a sense of desperation. He averaged 21.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game against the Suns. This is not your typical LeBron playoff performance. He is recovering from a serious injury, and relying on him to lead a series against a very good second division team may be asking too much. But with his teammate not 100 percent, King has to take on the goalkeeping duties. Has he done this before? Yes, absolutely, but can he do that after a sprained ankle? That remains to be seen. Showtime pic.twitter.com/p02ExzQgrE – Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) May 30, 2021
Lakers shooters must attend
The Lakers have struggled to score three-pointers in this series, but hopefully Sunday’s game helped them find a rhythm. They hit 32.5% from long range, the highest percentage in the series. Players like Wesley Matthews, Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso and even Gasol need to make those three-pointers to stay afloat on offense, especially when Davis isn’t playing. Lakers coach Frank Vogel needs to find ways to keep his players busy, especially since the Suns’ defense can make it very difficult for LeBron. The Lakers need to fully optimize him and make sure his shooters are making shots to help him.
Andre Drummond will not be a starter if Davis does not play
LeBron and Drummond barely played together without Davis. In Game 4, the Lakers scored -10 points in the third quarter when Drummond and LBJ were on the front line. They also scored +3 points in two minutes when Drummond, LeBron and Markieff Morris were in the game together. Drummond is playing well with Davis and Bron, but without AD, the attention of the forwards will be on him. LA had ZERO minutes of Bron + Drum without AD in the regular season. This group was -10 in 4 minute Q3 today with Drummond/Bronn as frontcourt and +3 in 2 minutes with Drummond/Kieff as frontcourt (with LeBron as SF). The drum never came back after that. Will Los Angeles finally release Gasol? https://t.co/Z18XCV0FSm – Crangis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) May 31, 2021 Los Angeles attacks lowly Phoenix again with Bron as PF and Gasol as C. A simple 5 on 1 drive against a smaller defender for LeBron. This game and the previous 11 games all have extremely high quality offense. Los Angeles has found something. pic.twitter.com/iox9j3hzlN – Crangis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) May 31, 2021 As previously stated, the best combination would be LeBron and Gasol. This gives more space and creates more casting opportunities for role players. They had an offensive rating of 150 in the fourth quarter of Game 4. The ideal starting lineup if Davis doesn’t play should be Dennis Schroder, Kentavius Caldwell-Pope (if available), Wesley Matthews, LeBron James and Marc Gasol to maximize the team’s offense.
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