Friday, June 2, 2023

Lakers seek momentum after trailing Nuggets

Although the Lakers’ transformation in the second half of the season has been one of the best stories of the year in the NBA, it looks like LeBron James and his teammates are running out of fuel in the Western Conference Finals.

And they would finally meet an opponent capable of making sure Los Angeles history doesn’t have a happy ending.

After a poor and error-prone appearance in Denver, where they suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in two months, the Lakers are bound to win Game 3, scheduled for Saturday.

Los Angeles has been in a great moment leading up to the trade deadline. They have since gone 27–12 in the playoffs, winning a do-or-die game and sweeping two top-seeded opponents in six games.

But that momentum has been halted by Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and a respect-hungry Nuggets whose superiority in the closing games is the reason they are 2-0.

“This is not the NCAA tournament,” James said. “Whoever gets the first four wins is the winner. We have a chance to go home and play some great basketball and stay in the fight. Until a team wins four times, there’s always a chance to get out of trouble.” . That’s the confidence you have to have. I know it’s going to be a tough climb, but we still have a chance to play better basketball in Game 3.”

The Lakers insist they are not as tired as they appeared at times in both games in Denver, when they settled for too many jumpers, ran less effectively on the floor and lost some of their defensive intensity.

James and Anthony Davis agree that the fatigue from this two-month sprint to title contention wasn’t too much for a team that just three months ago changed half its roster.

After Los Angeles’ 108–103 loss in Game 2, James said, “Who isn’t tired after a season? … I mean, everybody’s tired.”

But James’ weariness seems to be evident from his jump shots and his reliance on that shot, rather than the more physically demanding task of driving to the rim. The scoring leader in NBA history went 0-for-6 on 3-pointers in Game 2, 0-for-10 in the series. He also missed 19 consecutive fourth-quarter 3-pointers in the last 11 playoff games.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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