Lakers look to take 2-1 lead over Grizzlies at home

The Lakers have their first home playoff game at full capacity tonight since 2013. LA is tied in the series with the Grizzlies as they head into this pivotal Game 3.

Game 1 saw the Lakers have a dominant 4th quarter to seal a victory. In Game 2, LA was unable to capitalize on the road even with Ja Morant out.

Morant hurt his hand in the 4th quarter of Game 1 and is questionable for Game 3. He participated in practice, but Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said, “It’s just catching the ball he’s having to navigate.”

A big storyline heading into Game 3 is the trash talk that Dillon Brooks has been spewing at Lakers star LeBron James. Brooks was very dismissive of James' talent after Memphis’ Game 2 victory. Brooks stated, “I don't respect no one until they come and give me 40.”

James was asked about Brooks’ comments, and he said, “I’m not here for the bull****. I’m ready to play, and that’s it.”

Rui Hachimura has been a key player throughout the series for LA. He commented on what Brooks said, saying, “[The Grizzlies] are a young team. They just want to talk. We don’t really care. We’re just going to play our game and try to win.”

The Lakers seem prepared and focused on taking down the Grizzlies in Game 3. It will be their first home playoff game at full capacity in ten years, which will create an electric atmosphere.

Look for James to set the tone early as LA looks to dominate at home. After Brooks’ comments, James and the team have extra motivation to win this game. 

James will do what he needs for the team to win, but he will also be more aggressive with his own shot. Expect James to have a dominant performance and go off for 40 points.

The Lakers will also need Anthony Davis to be dominant and have the others like D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura perform well. 

Darvin Ham must have a good defensive and offensive scheme in this one. In Game 2, Davis was dominant on defense when he was guarding Xavier Tillman rather than Jaren Jackson Jr., as he was able to help more and protect the paint.

Expect Ham to have Davis on Tillman more and allow him to be the help man down low. One adjustment Ham may need to make is giving Mo Bamba or Wenyen Gabriel minutes.

When Davis is off the floor, the Lakers have struggled to defend the paint. They have run James and Hachimura at backup center, which has not provided good rim protection.

The adjustments by the coaching staff will be key in Game 3. Look for James to set the tone for the Lakers as they look to take a 2-1 series lead.

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