Lakers News: Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane Challenges Rui Hachimura To Repeat Game 1 Performance
Rui Hachimura Desmond Bane Lakers Grizzlies
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff games are very often defined by getting unexpected performances from role players and the Los Angeles Lakers got a couple of those in their Game 1 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. While some may have predicted a big Austin Reaves night considering his stretch of play over the past couple of months, no one could have expected the game that Rui Hachimura had.

Hachimura tied a Lakers playoff record with 29 points off the bench with 21 of those coming in the second half to go along with six rebounds. He hit 11-of-14 shots from the field and a ridiculous 5-of-6 from 3-point range as he was simply unstoppable. The question now is whether he can keep up this level of play and he might have some extra motivation now thanks to Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane.

When asked about Hachimura’s night, Bane revealed that it was the Grizzlies’ game plan to let him shoot and admitted that he beat them. But after tipping his cap to the Lakers forward, Bane challenged Hachimura to do it again in Game 2, via HoopsHype:

Bane isn’t wrong in that this is still a long series and Hachimura will have to show he can put on big performances in more than one game. Expecting him to knock down five 3s again might be a bit much, but most teams aren’t going to make massive adjustments based on one game.

The defensive focus for the Grizzlies will still be on not letting LeBron James and Anthony Davis beat them offensively, and that should continue to allow for some good looks for Hachimura. It will simply be a matter of him staying aggressive and confident, knocking those shots down. If he can continue to keep the defense honest, it should open things up even more for the Lakers’ stars.

The good thing about this Lakers roster, however, is that there are multiple players who can get hot. If it isn’t Hachimura’s night, it could be Troy Brown Jr. or Malik Beasley making the defense pay and then maybe Bane will have to challenge them in the next press conference.

LeBron James says Lakers must be ‘a lot better’ in Game 2 vs. Grizzlies

While the Lakers are obviously very happy with the outcome of Game 1, James knows they can not afford to relax ahead of Game 2 in Memphis. The Lakers’ leader pointed to the turnovers as one area the team can improve on and stressed the need for the team to be ‘a lot better’ if they plan on continuing this momentum moving forward.

The Grizzlies are going to be desperate not to drop both games at home to start the series and will throw everything at the Lakers. If some of those mistakes carry over into Game 2, LeBron knows the Lakers could be in for a long night.

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