As Lebron James gets the ball, great pressure up top by Crowder but then look at the rest of the suns, how they’re all in the paint ready to help. So as Lebron drives, he sees all these bodies, and look at this. This turns into a dogfight. And even after James was able to escape from that, you see again how Phoenix is protecting the paint at all costs. He’s forced into a contested jump shot and you see the result.
There was a lot of this in game 5, as the Suns absolutely shocked the Lakers to get 1 step from winning this series. Let me reveal everything. What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Similar situation here: Crowder is extra aggressive on this screen, and as soon as Lebron steps into the paint, look at all of these Phoenix defenders on him. The pass goes out to Dennis Shroeder who’s a below average 3 point shooter and he misses right here.
Thing is, with the way LA has been shooting from downtown at only 30.2% the Suns had every right to take this gamble and make them hit shots from outside.
Even in this situation, as the exact same thing happens, the drive, the multiple bodies in front, we got a great find in the corner for the wide open Carusso who knocks it in. This didn’t alter the game plan whatsoever for the Suns, as they played the numbers and it ultimately showed as the right move for them.
In transition, check out the familiar defensive strategy of forming a wall that teams usually use against Giannis. James sees that and knows how tough it would be if he decides to go inside, so instead, settles for the long three right here and misses the shot.
Even on the backdown, as the king steps inside, look at all this crowd here, and the great defense by Bridges here who stays vertical, hand up, forcing the kick out, Kuzma does a hot potato pass to Caldwell Pope, and this ultimately ends up being a bad, bad possession.
Phenomenal rotation by the Suns tho. I gotta give them credit for executing the game plan to perfection.
And I guess this whole thing of parking everyone under the basket, kind of surprised Dennis Schroeder, as he was a complete no show in this one, settling for long range shots, and shooting 0-9 and finishing game 5 without a single point.
His drives were some of the main weapons offensively for the Lakers and a big reason for the 2 wins. But again, with this type of defense, there was not a lot of room for him to operate and just couldn’t figure things out.
On the other side however, Devin Booker exploded from the very beginning. He was aggressive and looking to attack from the opening tip.
Dude finished the first quarter with 18 points, and watching some of these shots, you can absolutely see why he can be one of the streakiest, hottest shooters in the league.
I like the approach however. Booker knew that in order for Phoenix to win this game, he had to have a big game, and in front of the home crowd, Devin started off hot, and in combination with the team defense, they put the Lakers away by halftime. Leading by a mind boggling 30 points at the break.
Now of course, all of this was made possible in part because of the absence of Anthony Davis who didn’t look good at all before the game, at this moment it seems like he won’t play in the next one as well. And if that’s the case, we may just have a new champion at the end of this season. But let’s wait and see. Let me know what you think, can Lebron will this team to the next round? That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.
2 Ιούν 2021