By Ollie Nash
Anthony Davis and the Lakers bought a better intensity to Game 4. Photo: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Lakers energy back up = a win
In Game 3 the Lakers came out of the blocks looking lethargic, unenergized and sloppy on the offensive end. In Game 4 they did a full 180 and bought the intensity, specifically on the defensive end, that has made them so good all season.
It was led by the role players, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo specifically, and it gave them some easier transition looks by getting some stops.
The Lakers biggest task is to match Miami’s grit and grind mentality, because when they do, they have the talent in LeBron James and Anthony Davis to take them over the edge. This is what they did tonight and was the biggest reason they are now up 3-1.
The deficit is not ideal, but Miami is still alive
The one thing that Miami have done this postseason is make every game close. Win or lose, they rarely get blown out or blow out teams. After the first two games of this series where they looked out of place, they have found their mojo and are back to the form that got them this far.
Being down 3-1, while not ideal, is now not such a steep climb, especially with Bam Adebayo back. This game wasn’t decided until the final minute, as a lot of Miami’s games have been during the playoffs. I can nearly guarantee this will be repeated in Game 5 and Game 6 or 7 if necessary.
With no crowd in the bubble and no home court advantage, Denver proved coming back from 3-1 is doable and if any team was going to repeat the feat, it would be Miami. I don’t think it will happen; the Lakers have LeBron James for goodness sake. However, 2020 has been weird, so can we really 100 percent count it out as a possibility?
Bam Adebayo proved his toughness in returning in Game 4 despite his injury. Photo: ESPN
Huge props to Bam Adebayo
In a bubble, away from home and family for over two months now and you get injured. For Bam Adebayo, it’s a tough situation to be in mentally and physically, so to see him back fighting it out is inspiring.
I don’t think we can underestimate the toll being in this bubble would have on these players. Yes, they are well looked after, but there’s nothing like being able to spend a night in your own bed and being around your family. Add a severe injury to that and it just brings you down another peg. Adebayo has been able to fight his way out of it and helped put Miami in a position to win Game 4.
His 15 points and seven rebounds were important, especially the points he scored early in the first quarter attacking the basket. A tough showing from one of every NBA fans favourite players.
If the Lakers win the title, the Finals MVP is decided
Through the first two games of this series, all the talk was centred around “if the Lakers end up winning the title, has Anthony Davis earned the Finals MVP?” The answer two games later is a resounding no.
Game 3 he went missing, early turnovers leading to foul trouble and an all-around bad game. The man who hasn’t gone missing is LeBron James. Like most of the Lakers team, he wasn’t great in Game 3. But he was back to a version of his dominant self, without being out of this world in Game 4. Oh, but he still put up 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists on 8-16 shooting from the field, 2-5 from three and 10-12 from the free throw line. An easy pick now if LA win the championship.
Cover Photo: The Canadian Press