Los Angeles Lakers: 5 lessons from clinching first postseason berth in 7 years

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers obtain the huge split from the Milwaukee Bucks!

Lake Show Life made it clear that the Los Angeles Lakers had to win both of these games. A split would not help. Here’s why. Sure, the media outlets kept asking the same question of which game was more important. ESPN kept saying the Clippers game. Well, here’s something that got lost.

If the Lakers lose this game, the Bucks sweep the season series. They lock up the number one seed in the NBA and if the two teams met in the Finals, the Bucks would have home-court advantage. Now with this win, things change.

See, the Lakers are now only three games back from the Bucks for the best record. If Giannis gets hurt or he sits out, that is a possible loss. After this game, it’s highly unlikely that Milwaukee will go for 70 wins.

In the beginning, the Lakers had no answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first quarter. He got Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard in foul trouble almost immediately. To make matters worse, the Bucks’ shooters weren’t great but at least they hit some shots.

Brook Lopez had his best shooting performance of the season from distance. The Lakers shooters shot 1-of-15 from the 3-point line at one point. The game might have had a different outcome had Giannis not blown a layup and KCP not hit this buzzer-beater.


The Lakers finished with only 19 points in the first quarter, but the game was still close. Why? They played team defense that threw Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe in a broom closet and took their lunch money.

The Lakers showed that they can compete on the same level defensively as the Bucks. Avery Bradley, Danny Green and particularly Kyle Kuzma, who all took the challenge defensively to shut players the Bucks really needed out. The isolation defense and rotations were outstanding.

The Lakers ran away with an 18-0 run in the third quarter to blow the game open at 68-55. James drove the surge with his scoring and playmaking, while Danny Green valiantly slowed the much bigger Antetokounmpo on defense. AD decided to join the party after halftime.

They were so good that the 53-10 Bucks will be facing the same questions as last year about who will help Giannis in the playoffs. They were exposed big time on offense. The Greek Freak got his, but for the most part, he got no help.

This game will be the example the coaching staff shows around playoff time. If the defense is like this on a consistent basis, now we can talk championship. But, some will be watching to see if the Los Angeles Lakers can put on this type of performance on Sunday.