A BLOWOUT VICTORY
The Golden State Warriors absolutely smoked the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of their Western Conference Playoffs matchup. The final score was 127-100, although even that makes it look closer than it actually was. The Warriors shot lights out from beyond the arc, spearheaded by an 8/11 effort from beyond the 3-point arc from Klay Thompson.
Thompson finished with 30 points and as the lead scorer for a well balanced Warriors effort. Surprisingly, Stephen Curry did not put forth his typical performance, although he played mindful basketball throughout the contest.
He picked and chose his spots on his way to 20 points, while adding 12 assists along the way. Curry did a great job of controlling the tempo against what looked to be a disinterested Lakers squad.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LAKERS?
The primary storyline on the Lakers sidelines coming out of Game 2 was the continued inconsistency from Anthony Davis. After an historic 30 point, 23 rebound affair in Game 1, he followed up the effort by posting a meager 11 points and 7 rebounds in Game 2. Anthony Davis looked lackadaisical, and his Lakers teammates seemed to follow suit.
Ironically enough, LeBron James had one of his better starts to a game in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. He went into halftime with 21 points on 9/13 shooting, but the Lakers still found themselves down 67 – 56. The Warriors used their patented third quarter blitz to pull away, and James ended up finishing with only 23 points. He was 1/5 for just two points in the second half.
The series now flips to Los Angeles and a pivotal Game 3 to determine who will take a 2-1 lead. Albeit the series being tied and the Lakers being favorites for Game 3, the Warriors are actually favorites to win the series at -124. There are a multitude of reasons why this could be, however there are three in particular that are the most glaring. Here are those three reasons why Stephen Curry and the Warriors are favorites to win the series against the Lakers amid a 1-1 tie.
Golden State Warriors’ 3-Point Shooting
The Warriors dominated despite Stephen Curry having an average game for his standards in Game 2. This is largely in part to Klay Thompson dropping 30 points on 11/18 shooting, including an incredible 8/11 from the 3-point line. A defining characteristic of the Warriors dynasty has been their 3-point shooting, and once again it prevailed. It happening on an average shooting night from Curry speaks to why they are the favorites to claim this series. The fact they can score way more 3-pointers than the Lakers can score 2-pointers in general makes them an easy pick.
Curry and Thompson comprise the greatest shooting duo of all time. In terms of them individually, they are most likely 1a and 1b in terms of the best shooters of all time. Either one can go off from 3, which makes them so lethal against a team like the Lakers who depend on 2-point buckets. The Warriors can get back into any game because of their 3-point prowess, even if the Lakers are playing at the top of theirs. It is not a surprise that the Warrior are favorites, as the Lakers cannot shoot the 3-pointer like Golden State can. The Warriors can depend on a 3-point barrage to win a game they are not supposed to, while the Lakers have to depend on stout defense and high percentage shot-making.
The inconsistency of Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis continued to confuse basketball fans by following his pattern of inconsistency in Game 2. He was the best player in the game and probably on the planet in Game 1. He had 30 points and 23 rebounds on 11/19 shooting, as well as having 4 blocks on the defensive end. Suddenly, he was a different player in Game 2, and for the worse; Davis had 11 points on 5/11 shooting, grabbing 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in the meantime. He played without intensity and urgency in Game 2, unsurprisingly after putting his mark on Game 1. This is a big reason why the Warriors are favorites despite the series being tied 1-1.
Not being able to count on Anthony Davis being himself every night makes it impossible to assume the Lakers will show up against the Warriors. The Warriors on the other hand, showed they can win as a team in Game 2. Curry didn’t have the biggest night, but everyone was making shots. The Lakers really need Anthony Davis to play well for them to be at their best, and that won’t always be the case. That is why the Warriors are favorites to win this matchup.
The Greatness of Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry looks to be arguably at the top of his game right now. He is making shots that defy physics, and in Game 2, he played one of the most clean outings of traditional point guard play he has ever displayed. If Curry is playing at this level, it is easy to see why the Warriors are favorites. It also shows how easily he can impact the game every night, and in the case of this series, he is probably the most important player on either side. Given that he is playing the best out of the stars in this series in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, it gives the Warriors a slight edge. That is why as of now, the Warriors are the favorites to beat the Lakers and move on to the Western Conference Finals.
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