After losing the first two games of their Western Conference Finals series against the Nuggets, the Lakers find themselves with their backs up against the wall tonight. They will need to win 4 out of the 5 games left in this series to advance to the NBA Finals. However, there’s extra significance on tonight’s game for LA. No team has ever come back to win a best-of-seven series when down 3-0. Only 3 teams have ever been able to force a Game 7. Clearly, the pressure is on LA tonight to get a win in this series. Lose, and you’re left with the long odds of needing to beat the top seed 4 consecutive times. Needless to say, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have to step up in a big way tonight. Davis wasn’t good enough in Game 2. He only scored 18 points and shot just over 26% from the floor. He has to be better if the Lakers want to win this series. D’Angelo Russell also needs to be a lot better. In the first 2 games of this series, he has a combined 18 points, 8 assists, and only 1 made 3-point shot. Clearly, that’s not going to cut it against the Nuggets. The Lakers will be depending on their fans to give them an edge as well. They’ve been dominant at home in the playoffs thus far, and will need that to continue tonight.
While it’s fair to say that the Lakers need this win more than the Nuggets, the Nuggets know they can put a stranglehold on the Lakers with a win tonight. The Nuggets are used to going on the road and getting the job done, and with the way they can score, they are more than capable of stealing tonight’s game. And as we’ve seen, underdogs have gone on the road throughout the playoffs when the home team and crowd were least expecting it. Expect the Lakers to come out fast and aggressively to try and get their home crowd fired up and into the action. If they can do that early, the Nuggets just might want to get some star players a bit of rest, and live to see another day.
We should see a great game tonight!