Lakers look to shut the door on the Warriors; close out series in LA
The Lakers lost in Game 5 and will now look to close out the Warriors at home in Los Angeles. This is how the series played out in the 1st Round, as the Lakers seized a 3-1 before losing Game 5 and closing it out at home in Game 6.
LA was dominant in Game 6 against the Grizzlies, winning by 40 points. Against the defending champions, it won’t be as easy. The Lakers are undefeated at home in the playoffs and will need to continue that success tonight.
The good news for the Lakers is Anthony Davis is probable to play after exiting in the 4th quarter following a play where he was hit in the head.
Davis has been the best player in the series and dominant in the playoffs. The Lakers are at their best when Davis controls the game on offense and defense.
LA will need Davis and LeBron James to play like the superstars that they are. They need to be engaged on both ends of the floor throughout the game.
Then it will be up to the others to step up. The Lakers could use good games from D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and Dennis Schroder. They have all had good games during the playoffs. If they can all put it together at once, it will be hard for Golden State to force a Game 7.
A key storyline to follow will be the injury to Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is questionable for Game 6 with a rib cartilage fracture.
He is Golden State’s best wing defender and is a good offensive player. In Game 5, Wiggins had his best game of the playoffs, with 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
At this hour, the belief is that Andrew Wiggins will try and play in Game 6 tonight, sources tell ESPN. As @kendra__andrews reports, he'll go through his pregame routine and see how his costal cartilage fracture/ribs feel prior to tip. Regardless, shooting will be a challenge. https://t.co/VGhCDRdpaV— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 12, 2023
His availability will be a pivotal factor in this game.
Outside of Wiggins, the Lakers will need to focus on playing good defense throughout the game. They have done a great job of limiting Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole in this series. However, Stephen Curry has come alive, and they need to do a better job of containing him.
Limiting Golden State’s success in transition would go a long way in securing a victory.
The Lakers need to play to their strengths in Game 6. If they can attack the rim, get to the free throw line, and play good defense, the Lakers have a great shot at closing out the series to advance to the Western Conference Finals.