Was last night’s showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors an NBA Finals preview?
With 2:08 in the game, the ESPN announcers declared that Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the Raptors could very well repeat as champions. I doubt it. Not Toronto though. After tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers really showed they have to play much better to win the West.
Many colleagues have already recapped the game. All I can say is the Lakers did not score a single point in the game’s first five minutes. Their offense was offensively bad all night long. Their tentativeness made Toronto’s defense look like a hyperactive mashup of the 2004 and Bad Boy iterations of the Detroit Pistons.
Then the Lakers woke up. A little bit.
Anthony Davis was much better at the five against Toronto. AD had a bad game, only scoring one point in the first half. But the Lakers were better overall with AD at the five.
Frank Vogel can at least downshift everyone a position to neutralize the Raptors’ strengths. The Raptors all shoot 35% or better from three. The Lakers will have to remove Javale McGee or Dwight Howard from the game to closeout on Toronto’s litany of shooters.
Another thing: AD and LeBron are superstars! Stop passing out of double teams! One of you is better than two of them! Punish those guys inside! Make them run to Disneyland! Instead, they passed it to their teammates – who would have had to go outside the bubble to Walmart to buy a basket, because they could not have found a Target all night!