There’s probably plenty of Americans feeling the Monday blues right now, but no one may be feeling it more than LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers after their lackluster performance last night resulted in their first loss of the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler and the Heat really took it to them, winning 115-104 to put the series at 2-1 in favor of the Lakers. It was an impressive win, especially when you consider the fact that the Heat were missing two starters in Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic.
There’s plenty of room for concern for the Lakers, as this game may have been a blowout if either of the two aforementioned Heat players were able to suit up. They were both “doubtful” in games two and three, with their status uncertain moving forward. Still, Frank Vogel and the Lakers have preached it’s about themselves executing and, if they do that, they can beat anyone. To that point, the Lakers were abysmal from deep aside from Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris, highlighted by another poor performance from Danny Green (0-for-4 on three-pointers). In addition, the Lakers were extremely careless with the ball all night ending with 19 turnovers.
Even with all of that, the Lakers’ two superstars are not worried. Here’s what LeBron James and Anthony Davis had to say about how they feel heading into game four (LeBron’s quote reported by Ryan Ward of Clutch Points).
Anthony Davis: “Trust me, we’ll be fine”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 5, 2020
“I know how resilient that bunch is and how resilient that coaching staff is and their franchise. I don’t ever feel like we let our guard down. Also, I don’t feel like we’re concerned. We’re not concerned. We know we can play a lot better. We have another opportunity to take a commanding lead on Tuesday. You relish that opportunity.”
Hopefully, LeBron and the Lakers can find where and how they made mistakes in game three, as LeBron had an uncharacteristic game ending with eight of the Lakers 19 turnovers. Davis was also never able to get comfortable in the game as he picked up two fouls early in the game, three before halftime, and picked up his fourth right at the start of the third quarter. The Lakers will need performances going forward from those two like the ones they received in game two if the Lakers are to close out this series for number 17.