The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to dethrone the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Los Angeles got off to an excellent start in Game 1 of the series, jumping out to a 1-0 lead behind a dominant effort from Anthony Davis.
Winning Game 1 was hugely important for the Lakers as it swings home-court advantage back in their favor. Even if LA loses Game 2, the series will become a best-of-five with three of the games taking place in Los Angeles. Against a team with an 11-30 road record, that is massive.
Every player in the Lakers rotation is going to have to step up at some point if the team is going to get past the Warriors. It may not be the prime Warriors but they are the most experienced playoff team in the league and will not go down without a fight. We saw that firsthand on Tuesday when Golden State went on a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter.
But the Lakers are also getting contributions from unforeseen places. The smallest of role players on the roster have a role in this series — including someone who a lot of fans might have forgotten was on the team altogether.
"[Haynes] Lebron to Tristan Thompson: "be prepared to dust those cobwebs off your shoes, just in case we need you tonight" by u/pcwgussej in lakers"
Lakers leaning on Tristan Thompson against Warriors.
As Chris Haynes outlines in the video above, the Lakers are leaning on the three former members of the Cleveland Cavaliers — LeBron James, Phil Handy and Tristan Thompson — because of their experience against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
If there is any trio in the playoffs right now that knows what the Warriors can do in a playoff series it is those three, which suddenly adds a lot of value to Thompson even if he does not end up seeing the court at all in the series.
Despite LeBron’s tongue-in-cheek comment to dust off the cobwebs, Thompson did not play in Game 1 as Davis played the entire second half. Quite frankly, Thompson probably won’t end up seeing the floor unless it is in garbage time (which could happen with how this team is playing right now).
If anything, this explains why the Lakers signed Thompson of all people right before the NBA Playoffs began. It seems so simple yet was overlooked by many when the signing was announced. Thompson adds valuable playoff experience that the younger player on the roster can feed off of.
Just like Jared Dudley was a positive locker-room presence in the 2020 championship run, Thompson very well could make a difference in this series alone just because of his experience against the Warriors and the knowledge he can relay to his teammates.