The story coming out of Game 3 of the NBA Finals was that the Miami Heat were more physical and wanted a victory more than the Los Angeles Lakers.
It did not sit well with the Lakers and they knew that they would have to pick up the intensity. As is the case with most things pertaining to the team, that starts with Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Many times across all sports a team with more talent can be brought down by one that is more energetic and physical. Markieff Morris mentioned after the contest that he expected the Lakers to get chewed out in the film session after Game 3.
After the film session, it was evident what went wrong. “As a team, we never want to be outworked,” Davis said after an emphatic performance in Game 4.
“We always say that if we’re the team that’s more physical, the hardest-working team, we really have a great chance of winning basketball games, especially with the talent that we have.
“We feel like we got bullied. We feel like we got outworked. They are more scrappier than us, and we didn’t really like that. We saw it on film. They were doing whatever they wanted, especially Jimmy. Like I said, we didn’t like it.”
Containing Jimmy Butler after his 40 point triple-double was obviously a point of emphasis and it was Davis and James who took on that challenge. Beyond that, the Lakers as a whole wanted to match Miami’s energy.
“We wanted to come out to be demanding on the defensive end, demanding on the offensive end, playing with great battle on the floor, loose balls, talking, being scrappy. We were able to do that tonight,” Davis said.
“If we play like that every game, especially next game, then we’re going to become champions.”
The Lakers are the more talented team, but the Heat have shown that they will not back down and will give everything they have on every single night. But as Davis said, if the Lakers play with high energy and effort they will soon be crowned NBA champions.
Frank Vogel credits Davis, James for focus on Butler
That intensity and energy from the Lakers started with the defensive effort put forth by Davis and James on Butler. Though Butler started off well in the first quarter, he would be shut down over the final three quarters and Vogel praised his two stars.
“Set a big tone. That was a big part of our plan, the adjustments from last game to this game was to try to keep those guys on him as much as possible,” Vogel said following the win. “They rose to the challenge.
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