LA One Two Punch! Will it make a splash in the playoffs?

The team that will be the most variable in this NBA playoffs is definitely the Los Angeles Lakers. Due to the low ranking of the team, some people are hearing the word ‘toothless tiger’, but the one-two punch of ‘King’ LeBron James (38‧206cm) and ‘Seagull’ Anthony Davis (30‧208cm) is still the best as much as the name value. Even if it is not easy to consistently bring top-class performance as in the prime of it, they are players who can play monster mode in certain games if they want to.

In addition, Austin Reeves (24‧196cm), Dennis Schroeder (29‧185cm), D’Angelo Russell (27‧193cm), Jared Vanderbilt (24‧203cm), and Tristan Thompson (32‧206cm) have their own colors and weapons. There are many talented players. If one or two of these guys, in addition to James and Davis, take turns blowing through each game, there’s no way that a breeze from the Lakers can turn into a hurricane.

In the regular season this season, LeBron led the team with averages of 28.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 8.3 rebounds, while Davis recorded 25.9 points, 2.6 assists, 12.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2 blocked shots. In terms of records, it is comparable to one-two punches in the league. However, it was regrettable that this did not lead to team results.

Due to the composition of the members, the reliance on the two was too high, and frequent absences from games also worked as a reason. LeBron played 55 games and Davis only 56. Because of this, the Lakers once struggled in the lower ranks and suffered the humiliation of hearing harsh criticism from early on, saying, ‘Isn’t the playoffs difficult this season?’

But in the second half, the Lakers started to change. Lebron and Davis, who returned from injury, played steadily, Reeves, who grew up as the main axis of the team, and players who joined by trade, such as Russell and Vanderbilt, stood out. In addition, Thompson, who had worked with James in the past in Cleveland, was recruited to increase rebound competitiveness.

As a result, after the All-Star break, they managed to rebound with a record of 16 wins and 7 losses, the highest win rate in the Western Conference. It is analyzed that Lebron and Davis stably centered the team and reorganized the lineup with the necessary pieces for the team rather than the value of the name, which was a factor in increasing power. 

The play-in tournament against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Los Angeles Arena on the 12th (Korean time) was a bout where the Lakers’ changed potential was felt. The Lakers, who finished the regular season in 7th place in the Western Conference, and Minnesota in 8th place fought fiercely throughout the game to secure the 7th seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

The rise of the Lakers, who made a leap after the All-Star break, was scary, but Minnesota, who won all of their last 3 games in the regular season and strengthened their power, was also formidable. However, in the case of Minnesota, the uneasy factor was the occurrence of bad news within the team ahead of an important game. Rudy Gobert threw a fist after an argument with teammate Kyle Anderson in the final game of the regular season, and Minnesota suspended Gobert.

To make matters worse, Jayden McDaniels, who played as the starting forward, suffered an injury after punching a wall in a fit of rage. Although Karl-Anthony Towns (27‧211cm) and Anthony Edwards (21‧193cm) were in good health, it was true that there were cracks in the main lineup and the backup side.

Despite injuries to key members, Minnesota put pressure on the Lakers from the start of the game. Anderson and Towns’ outer guns exploded from the start, and Prince and Conley also contributed to the firepower. There were times when I was shaken for a moment, but when I pushed for it, I firmly pushed and captured the atmosphere. Eventually, at the beginning of the third quarter, he took a 15-point lead and occupied an advantage. 메이저놀이터

However, the strength of the seasoned one-two punch centered on LeBron and Davis showed its true value in the second half. Minnesota faced the bad news of Towns’ foul trouble in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers did not miss the opponent’s crisis. He shook Minnesota’s lowered post with his tenacious under-the-goal attack, and even fired a 3-point shot at the right place. In the end, the game went to overtime and the Lakers, who had the advantage under the goal, won 108-102 and confirmed their advance to the playoffs as the 7th seed.

The Lakers will enter a best-of-seven series with the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. As can be seen from the ranking, there are many analyzes that Memphis is ahead in terms of objective power. However, considering the upward trend after the All-Star break and the revival of LeBron and Davis, the likelihood of a lower seed upset cannot be ignored. Attention is focusing on how far the gust from the Lakers with the one-two punch will continue. The NBA Playoffs will be broadcast live on SPOTV ON2 and SPOTV NOW.