The Los Angeles Lakers have rallied behind Anthony Davis and LeBron James and now control the 2-1 advantage in the series, and will play at the STAPLES center again.
Catch this game live on Monday, May 31, at 3:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (2-1, 1-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Kenvatious Caldwell-Pope (questionable)
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Anthony Davis
- C: Andre Drummond
Anthony Davis seems to thrive when people talk a lot of crap about him. After his bad Game 1 outing, Davis was the dominator in the last two games and has led the Lakers to the 2-1 series lead. In Game 2, he had 34 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, a steal, and three blocks. He followed that up with 34 points, 11 rebounds, a steal, and a block in Game 3. Davis is now averaging 27 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.0 APG and 2.3 BPG for the series.
As good as The Brow has been, it’s also fair to note that LeBron James continues to dominate the stat board while averaging 20.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 9.3 APG and 2.0 SPG. The King is still one of the most dangerous players in the NBA.
Dennis Schroder continues to be a pest and is also averaging 19.3 PPG in the series so far, his contribution also pairs well with Andre Drummond, who is only averaging 11 PPG but shows his true value with his 10.7 RPG. His size and strength has been causing the Suns some real problems in the paint, as he prevents so many second opportunities with his rebounding.
The Lakers, through all their struggles this season, are certainly looking like the stronger team in this series.
The Lakers are 13-18 ATS as a home favorite, and are 17-27 ATS after a win.
ROAD TEAM: Phoenix Suns (1-2, 0-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: DeAndre Ayton
While the Suns played well enough to get the second seed in the regular season, getting the Lakers in the first round is some rotten luck. After working so hard to finish high in the standings, they ended up having to face the defending champions who are starting to look healthier.
Phoenix, on the other hand, watched Chris Paul get injured in Game 2 and he honestly didn’t look right while playing in Game 3. Paul’s production has fallen off a cliff in the postseason and he’s averaging 6.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 6.3 APG over three games. He’s averaging almost a full ten points less than his regular season average of 16.4 PPG.
This is very worrying for a Phoenix team that has suddenly had trouble scoring. Their regular season average of 115.3 PPG is miles ahead of the 98.7 PPG they have in the playoffs, and a big credit goes to the Lakers defense for stymying them.
The biggest person affected by LA’s defense is Devin Booker, who especially struggled in Game 3 and had to fight for his 19 points. He disappeared for long stretches in the game and the Suns simply can’t afford that.
Booker also need to keep his cool in Game 4, considering his ejection for a dirty frustration foul on Dennis Schroder with only 35.4 seconds left in the game. It feels like the Lakers are in his head.
Phoenix’s brightest spot so far is DeAndre Ayton, who has been consistent with 21.7 PPG, 12.3 RPG and 2.0 APG. He’s still under a lot of pressure, though, because the Lakers have so many big bodies to throw at him.
The Suns are 6-3 ATS as a road underdog, and are 15-7 ATS after a loss.
Spread: The Suns haven’t shown that they’re capable of beating the Lakers, especially with Chris Paul hurt. I think the Lakers cover the -6.5 spread.
Over/Under: The Lakers’ potent defense will probably give the Suns fits again, so I think the under 209.5 hits.