Although the Los Angeles Lakers managed to secure a 2-1 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers thanks to the combined efforts of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, there is still some concern regarding the lack of a reliable third option on the court.
Danny Green was among those expected to play a vital role come playoff time, given his championship success with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors throughout his career. Unfortunately, Green has continued to struggle inside the bubble.
He was able to show some signs of improvement in Game 3 by hitting two of his four 3-point attempts after going a combined 3-for-12 in the first two games. Green also made his presence felt on the defensive end guarding Portland’s dynamic backcourt with two blocks.
While Green is hesitant to refer to it as a bounce-back game, he feels the silver lining is something for him to build on. “Just being around my teammates. They do a great job of encouraging me,” he said.
“Taking it a step at a time, it’s a process. Luckily, we’re doing that as we’re winning games. Everybody is finding their rhythm. But we haven’t done anything yet, we’re not happy by any means. We’ve still got a long ways to go. This team is dangerous, so we’ve got to stay focused and locked in, have a real bounce-back game and keep that edge and focus.”
It is encouraging to see that Green has not let his struggles deter him from staying focused on the task at hand. Of course, this is hardly surprising given his experience and championship pedigree.
The Lakers have enjoyed the luxury of being able to rely on their tandem of James and Davis to serve as a stabilizing factor for the rest of the team to find their rhythm all season. However, the time has now come for players like Green and Kyle Kuzma to show they are capable of producing when their number is called.
Frank Vogel sees Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo filling key role
The potential return of Rajon Rondo was going to add another element to the backcourt rotation for Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. The void Rondo left as a primary ballhandler for the second unit has since been filled by Alex Caruso.
Vogel feels having both players back in the lineup should help pay dividends for James and Davis.
“The No. 1 thing it does it allows LeBron to be off the ball some, which is important to our offense and sustaining his freshness throughout 48 minutes,” Vogel explained.
“And Anthony as a big guy, as much as he can score in a variety of ways, all bigs are dependent on some level on guards being able to set them up. Rajon has been that guy in the second unit throughout the year. We’ve missed him, hopefully we get him back soon. In the meantime tonight, Alex did a great job setting up A.D. (in Game 3).”
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