The Phoenix Suns took the 1-0 series lead after a 99-90 victory against the defending champion LA Lakers, and will look to take care of business at home to taking a 2-0 lead in the series.
It should be an entertaining matchup, and you can catch the game on Wednesday, May 26 at 10:00 AM Manila Time.
HOME TEAM: Phoenix Suns (1-0, 1-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: DeAndre Ayton
The Suns got a huge playoff debut from Devin Booker with 34 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. They’ll be looking for him to continue his strong play in Game 2 and will get him the ball as much as they can.
Their big worry at the moment, though, is Chris Paul’s shoulder. Their ageless point guard looks like he’ll play tomorrow, and we’ll have to see how he looks after getting a chance to rest. He clearly looked bothered after the fall as he produced seven points, four rebounds and eight assists. It’s going to be tough to space the floor without him.
DeAndre Ayton was another success story for the Suns, and he had a strong debut with 21 points and 16 rebounds while outplaying the Lakers’ frontline. He’ll have to continue putting up a strong presence in the paint for the Suns to have success.
Phoenix will also have to attack the basket more and get to the line, as they only shot a total of 12 free throws in Game 1. In a slower-paced playoffs, those free throws are going to come in handy in case shots aren’t falling.
ROAD TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (0-1, 0-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Anthony Davis
- C: Andre Drummond
One of the positives regarding the Lakers’ Game 1 loss is how they managed to get six players in double figures during the stretch run. The caveat is that their leading scorer, LeBron James, only had 18 points to go with seven rebounds, 10 assists and three steals.
They’re simply going to have to get more from Anthony Davis, whose 13 points and seven rebounds on 5 of 16 shooting simply won’t cut it for a superstar. I expect him to bounce back, though, considering that he scored 42 points, 12 boards, five assists, three steals and three blocks against the Suns this month in their third and final regular season game. Davis shouldered the blame for Game 1 on himself, so let’s see how he responds.
The Lakers will also need to make better use of their superior front court depth to frustrate DeAndre Ayton. Frank Vogel might want to think about throwing Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell at him to frustrate him and try to get him into foul trouble – and also grab board so that they aren’t rebounded 47-33 this time around.
The Lakers shot pretty badly from the three-point line as well in the previous game, going 26.9% on 7 of 26 shooting. Don’t expect them to shoot as badly this time around. They’re used to adversity, too, and people might forget that they lost their first game last year as well before winning four-straight.
The Lakers are a road favorite, but I think the Suns win and cover the +1.5 spread.
Both teams should have a better showing on offense, and I expect them to cover over 209.