Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors in a 103-100 thriller to end the first four games of the NBA’s 2021 Play-In Tournament. The Lakers had an abysmal first half, with the Lakers’ defense keeping them in it in the second half before LeBron James made an insane desperation three in the final minute of the game. That three was the final basket scored, as the Lakers’ defense again closed out the win.
As previously stated, the Lakers failed to come out of the gates strong in the first half highlighted by very inefficient shooting from the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Dennis Schröder. The three players (arguably the Lakers’ three best talents on offense) combined to shoot 4-of-28 in the first half. Yes, that’s a FG percentage of 14.2%. That was the main reason for the 55-42 deficit at half that apparently caused the veterans Markeiff Morris and Jared Dudley to put their stamp on this game despite the two not playing at all. Here’s what LeBron said regarding the locker room at halftime (per Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll).
LeBron credits Markieff Morris and Jared Dudley for getting on the Lakers at halftime.
Their message to the team?
"You gotta pick this shit up."
LeBron says that "when guys like that speak you listen."
— We Believe Faigen (@hmfaigen) May 20, 2021
This is just another example of how deep this team is in multiple areas. Sure, the more tantalizing story would have been LeBron James and Anthony Davis stepping up as leaders and yelling at the team at halftime. But just as this roster has enough talent from top-to-bottom to cause players like Marc Gasol to have DNPs, it’s also deep from a leadership standpoint with veterans like Morris and Dudley able to have enough respect in the locker room to criticize their teammates without even being able to get on the court.
The words from those two were almost as valuable as LeBron’s three at the end, as the Lakers really turned the tide of the game in the 3rd quarter which led to them being able to grasp their first lead of the game in the early moments of the 4th quarter. It’s great to know that those two can help the team, even if they’re not good enough to get on the court in these intense and important games.