The Lakers so far this postseason are undefeated in their Black Mamba edition jerseys. They are hoping to continue this trend tomorrow, and clinch an NBA title over the Miami Heat. This would be the end to an incredible story, as Lebron and the Lakers can win the championship in honour of the late Kobe Bryant. Since his tragic passing in January, these Lakers have been on a mission to win this ring for him.
Let’s look at the three keys to the Lakers taking this one home in 5:
Anthony Davis’ Defense
Of course, AD’s offense is a huge factor for the Lakers as well. He is dominant inside and out on that end. He also continues to make clutch plays. However, his defense is what can change this game entirely. Last game, he checked Jimmy Butler for the majority of the night, and shut him down. Coming off a 40 point triple double, Butler struggled to get anything easy against the DPOY candidate. If Davis guards Butler this well again, and protects the rim, Miami will have trouble scoring throughout.
Obviously, Lebron will need to be a scoring threat as well, however, these Lakers are at their best when Lebron is unselfish. He can help get teammates going, set up Davis for easy looks, and give bigs like Howard lobs at the rim. The Lakers become extremely effective when their offense has variety. This is created by Lebron playing pass-first at times, so him and Rondo are both handling the ball. This allows shooters to be just that, and with the attention Lebron receives they will get open looks.
Beyond Davis and Lebron, there is no clear third star. On any night, one of their role players can give them big production. This is what makes LA so good. No matter who it is, they will need someone to step up and get hot to win game 5. Kuzma, KCP, Caruso, Howard and Morris have all had moments these playoffs, giving LA many options. With the open looks these players get, it is so important that they get going early, and are confident to catch and shoot in big situations.