The Los Angeles Lakers have done exceedingly well in reaching the postseason. But there was a time when it seemed like they won’t make it, as they did not in the last season. The Lakers’ squad had a lot of injury concerns that made their preparations all the more difficult. As a result, they had a horrible start to the current season. The Lakers were 2-10 at the start of the 2022-2023 season. Moreover, they were the 13th seed till mid-February. But after Anthony Davis displayed a new avatar when LeBron James got injured, things started to get better for the Lakers.
The team already had quality players like Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder as supporting roles for LeBron James and AD. But after the February trades, a lot of quality players joined the team to fill the gap in the roster. Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, and so on have been instrumental in helping the team to be in the playoffs. But both LeBron James and Anthony Davis know that the playoff is a whole different ball game. And to succeed in that, James feels that the team needs to work on its defense a lot more.
Lakers Need To Work Hard On Its Defense If They Want To Beat The Warriors
In the first game, the Lakers had a healthy lead going to the last quarter when the Warriors came back strong with 14-0 and leveled the game. However, the Lakers managed to seek out a win in the end. As a result, they won 117-112 in Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs. However, LeBron James knows that it is not going to be enough to go to the following games in the series. The Warriors are a very strong side offensively. Moreover, they have one of the best ball handlers in the game, Stephen Curry. There are not many defenses that can stop the force of the three-pointer King. In fact, three specialist shooters of the Warriors, Curry, Jordan Poole, and Klay Thompson, were able to shoot 18 3-pointers in the game.
That is a massive number that could make a lot of difference. But the Warriors are anyway famous for their three-pointers. So, the Lakers need to take care of their defense to stop the Warriors from shooting from the three-point line. The Warriors are generally great at home. So now, they will be keen to even things out in the next game at Chase Center. But the Lakers may not get lucky every time if they let the opponent shoot 18 three-pointers and lose a 14 points lead in the same game. It is the defending champions, after all. The Warriors star Steph Curry made the Kings cry after a historic 50 points performance in Game 7. That was the first 50 points in Game 7. Curry went past Kevin Durant.
How Will Curry & James’ Legendary Rivalry Will Pan Out?
It has been a long time since fans got to watch LeBron James and Steph Curry battle it out in the playoffs. They had historic matchups in the NBA finals four consecutive times from 2015 to 2018. It is not possible now because James is in the same conference as Curry.
However, an epic battle in the playoffs is always exciting nonetheless. When James was part of the Cavaliers, the Warriors were their arch-rival. But after LeBron switched to the Lakers, it is about a man against the defending champions.