The LA Lakers have continued on their promising path toward competing for an NBA title. It has featured their star talent in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, guiding them forward on their strong push. However, there have been tough challenges along the way with the Denver Nuggets being the latest. All that has led James to air a pivotal message to Davis.
Lakers’ strong push through the playoffs
The Lakers’ expectations entering the 2019-20 season were that they could potentially compete for an NBA title.
It has seen that take form as the star-studded duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis have guided the franchise toward the playoff. LA earned the top overall spot in the Western Conference, pushing their way toward a deep postseason run.
The Lakers commanded each of their first two playoff series, which finished in five games moving past the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets. Davis has played a significant part in the push in his first campaign with the franchise as the primary offensive factor next to James.
Through this process, the four-time league MVP has voiced a keen message that he has implored his teammate to follow by in the playoffs.
LeBron James has a crucial message for Anthony Davis
Despite falling in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals to the Nuggets, the Lakers still maintain a 2-1 lead.
LA has experienced much success through this year’s playoffs but has had their share of tough opponents with the Nuggets proving to be more than just that. Following Anthony Davis’ game-winning three-pointer to inch past in Game 2, LeBron James voiced that it’s vital for his teammate to stay even-keeled with his emotions.
“Just staying even-keeled. That’s what it’s all about. The playoffs and the postseason, the more you advance into the postseason, the emotions and the adversity, it’s going to be a roller coaster at times. No matter if you’re up, no matter if you’re down, being able to keep your composure and your mindset on the main thing is very important.”
It’s certainly a moment that adds to Davis’ resume, but James’ comments drive home the point that it was just one game. The task isn’t done by any stretch of the imagination, which saw the Nuggets respond swiftly in Game 3 on Tuesday night. If anything, James’ remarks ring louder, given how things shifted to Denver’s favor in the game following Davis’ huge shot.
All that sets up what should be a crucial Game 4 in what will be a series-defining contest.
Lakers eyeing bounce-back Game 4 performance
The Lakers took a step back from their strong playoff push in the Game 3 loss to the Nuggets.
Denver controlled the pace with their energy and effort that had LA off the mark throughout the contest. It saw them struggle to significantly impact on the glass after being outrebounded 44-25 while shooting just 23.1% from 3-point range. It featured Anthony Davis grabbing only two rebounds that came in the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets have already proven to be a battle-tested team behind their pair of comebacks from 3-1 series deficits. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic have also shown that they are star talents who have the mental fortitude to pull through any challenging situation.
All that places the pressure on the Lakers, led by Davis and James, to regain control of the series. Regardless of how Game 4 unfolds, the Nuggets will be a tough out to move toward the NBA Finals. In other words, it’s another crucial step that LA must take to compete for a championship.