Lakers hoping to “get greedy,” take 2-0 series lead over Grizzlies
After the Lakers' Game 1 win in Memphis, coach Darvin Ham and LeBron James had a clear message for the rest of the team, to take it game by game and “stay humble.” The latter is definitely the more challenging of the two, considering the Lakers' dominant finish in Game 1.
Continuing to keep the foot on the gas pedal becomes even more critical with the uncertainty of Ja Morant’s availability going forward with a hand injury. While Ham stated that he is going to continue preparing as if he will be available, even if he isn’t, the Grizzlies have a deep roster and one of the best backup point guards in Tyus Jones.
“Each game is its own entity. That’s what I’ve been saying ever since we started turning this thing around,” Ham emphasized to the team. To sustain success, the Lakers will need to continue succeeding at the basics: playing defense while taking care of the ball offensively.
There is ‘significant doubt’ that Ja Morant will play in Game 2 on Wednesday.pic.twitter.com/go72GI3Tmc— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) April 17, 2023
While LA looked elite defensively, the turnovers continue to be an issue. In Game 1, the Lakers turned the ball over 16 times, a number that has to go down if they want to continue making a run in the playoffs. These turnovers can prove to be detrimental against a young and energetic team like the Grizzlies, who thrive on getting out and running on the fastbreak.
The Lakers are also going to need to keep getting contributions from their role players. Russell, Reaves, and especially Hachimura all had standout performances in Game 1, putting up 19, 23, and 29, respectively. Reaves took over at the end of the 4th quarter, shutting the door on Memphis.
The more these role players step up, the less pressure is on LeBron and AD, allowing them to focus on their role on the defensive end, where Davis was able to take over.
Desmond Bane on Rui Hachimura:— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) April 16, 2023
“It’s probably the best game of his career. It’s a seven-game series. Let’s see if he can do it again Wednesday.” pic.twitter.com/vLqkCLNsaL
A Game 2 victory would be crucial to the Lakers, who can take a strong 2-0 lead back to Los Angeles with the opportunity to finish the series off in front of what is sure to be a packed and loud home crowd.
In order to do so, they need to keep bucking down and getting greedy to finish off a tough Grizzlies team on their home floor.