Thanks to the work of LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers got off to a strong start in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors. LeBron scored 14 points in the first quarter and the Lakers led by seven after one, but things went downhill from there.
The Warriors started the second quarter on a 12-2 run and continued to pour it on from there, outscoring the Lakers 84-47 in the second and third quarters combined and ultimately running away with a 27-point win. The Lakers were still within striking distance to start the second half, but the Warriors never let up and things were out of hand by the time the fourth quarter began.
Big runs have been a staple of the Warriors since their championship run began, and James had a somewhat simplistic take on what he believes the Lakers need to do to keep those runs in check.
“You got to keep scoring, get to the free-throw line as well, or just get points in the paint,” LeBron said after the loss. “They’re going to go on runs. That’s what they do. But you got to keep scoring, try to hold the fort down.
“You give credit where credit is due. They played exceptionally well tonight and we didn’t. The series is tied 1-1. That’s where we’re at.”
Usually, most would point towards the defensive end as the focus to calm down those Warriors runs, but James has taken the opposite approach. In fairness, with an offense as potent as the Warriors and with the shooters they have, you can play exceptional defense and they score anyway. At some point, you have to get points of your own, in any way possible, in order to keep the game within striking distance.
And now with the series headed back to Los Angeles, LeBron knows that it is now on the Lakers to make their adjustments and turn things back in their favor.
“They made their adjustments. We knew they were going to do that. That’s what a championship team does. They held serve on their home court tonight.
“We got to obviously see the adjustments they made, we got to make our adjustments coming into Game 3.”
The Lakers coaching staff did an excellent job of making the right adjustments in the last series, and now the focus will be on them to do the same against the defending champions.
Darvin Ham says Lakers must move Anthony Davis around more to get him the ball
Without a doubt the biggest adjustment has to do with Anthony Davis and getting him back going on the offensive end. The Warriors moved Draymond Green onto Davis in Game 2 and head coach Darvin Ham gave him credit for his work but knows the Lakers have to do a better job of helping Davis out as well.
“Dray, he’s going to do his work early. That’s why he’s a perennial all-defensive player. He’s going to force tough catches. When he’s on the ball, his on-ball activity is second to none. He’s a good communicator,” Ham said.
“If A is not trying to go at him, he’s going into secondary action after getting the ball to A. He’s great at that, whether he has to switch or talk his guy through the scenario. He’s been top-shelf his entire career in that regard. Again, we got to go back and look at ways we can move A around, put him in different spacing, different actions, just try to diversify his attack.”
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