The 2020 NBA Playoffs have been mostly good for the Los Angeles Lakers. They finished off their three previous postseason opponents in five games and are now comfortably up against the Miami Heat in the finals, 2-0.
As always, it’s the two superstars that are headlining the dominance. Anthony Davis is averaging 29.3 points per game in the playoffs, and scored 30-plus points in the two finals games, while LeBron James is in his usual stat-stuffing ways as he’s logging 29.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 9.0 APG, also in the finals.
The resident veteran point guard, Rajon Rondo, is joining in the fun through his ‘Playoff Rondo’ mode. He had 16 points and dished out 10 dimes in 26 minutes of action in Game 2.
The Lake Show is doing what’s expected as they are bullying the undermanned Heat, but did you notice LeBron’s near-triple-double numbers? That 29-11-9 could have easily been 29-11-15 if not for the awful shooting by the team’s three main wings: Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Here’s how much those three are bricking in the finals:
- Green is 5/17 (4/16 from three)
- Kuzma is 4/15 (3/10 from three)
- Caldwell-Pope is 7/24 (4/17 from three)
They collectively went 5/25 from three in Game 2.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think those are tour dates. That’s a combined 16/56 from the floor, which stands at a pitiful 28.5%, a rate that’s only decent even in batting averages.
The Lakers ought to be cautious of the trio’s shooting. They can’t be too reliant on their hot-and-cold shooting, especially against a deep, well-rounded, and sweet-shooting Heat team. If the appalling percentages continue, head coach Frank Vogel and his staff might be better off distributing the minutes to other guys.
The concern should be addressed. Depleted opponent or not, you can’t have three guys in your rotation shooting below 30%, especially in the NBA Finals.
However, it’s also interesting that Green, Kuzma, and KCP’s terrible performances have yet to negatively affect the Lakers overall. They’re up, two-zip, and have won by 18 and 10 points Games 1 and 2, respectively – they even led by as much as 32 and 18 points in those contests.
The worst that has happened is the Heat’s third quarter run in Game 2, where they played fast, shot 12/18 (4/5 from three), and scored 39 points to be within a manageable, 10-point deficit (103-93), avoiding an early blowout.
It’s very telling as to how cohesive this Lakers team is, and how just how potent James and Davis’ firepower is.
Bored with the series?
I can’t blame anyone who’s bored with the series, but despite all the offensive and defensive bullying we just witnessed, this is still just a 2-0 lead. Crazier things have happened. I hope no one has forgotten that we just witnessed two 3-1 series leads get squashed in succession.
No one’s going to notice the Laker wings’ crap percentages for now, which is fair, but in a three-point happy era, know that it is a recipe for disaster.