The Lakers and the Warriors are continuing their matchup in the 2nd round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Warriors stayed alive last night, thanks to 52 points combined from Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins, as well as quality defense. The Laker still lead the series 3-2 and the two teams will play at home for Game 6 Friday night.
However, the bigger question to come out of this series may be whether or not legacies on the line. There’s no question that both LeBron James and Stephen Curry are 1st ballot Hall of Famers, and both have led teams multiple times to wins in the NBA Finals. However, both are getting older now and this very well may be the last time these two greats face off in the Finals. While either team will likely be underdogs in the next round, and will be starting that series on the road, both LeBron and Curry aren’t used to be eliminated from the playoffs this early. James is 14-1 in the 1st round of the playoffs, for example. Curry has also only lost once in the first round in his entire career. These are all time greats that usually meet for the right to determine the NBA champion, not to determine which team simply goes onto the next round.
All of this begs the question: who has more to gain in this series? LeBron has never lost a series in which his team was up 3-1, and this would be the 2nd straight series the Lakers would win as an underdog. The Warriors, obviously, are the reigning champions. They struggled mightily at times this year, and were awful on the road. Role players haven’t performed as well as expected.
At the end of the day, LeBron James has more to gain from winning this series. Curry is coming off winning another ring, and James has only beaten Curry once in the playoffs. The Lakers also struggled mightily this season, and were stuck in the Play-In Tournament as well. People will remember James winning this series for a long time.