The Lakers limped to the regular-season finish line where they appeared to get healthy at just the right time. They displayed championship basketball in Games 2 and 3 versus the Suns to take a 2-1 series lead. The injury luck didn’t last long, though.
Anthony Davis didn’t play the second half of Sunday’s Game 4 because of a left groin strain, and the Suns went on to even the series. Now, it appears the Lakers’ big man won’t be able to give it a go in Tuesday’s pivotal Game 5.
As much as LeBron James would love to get the job done on his own this evening, he can’t. Johnson thinks there’s five Lakers players that need to have big games tonight for Los Angeles to escape with a win. Those players include: Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Ben McLemore and Talen Horton-Tucker.
These guys have to play well if the @Lakers are going to win tonight against Phoenix – Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schröder, Alex Caruso, and Ben McLemore….and where is Talen Horton-Tucker? He’s the one Laker that can create his own shot!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 1, 2021
Horton-Tucker has been a no-show up to this point in the NBA Playoffs. It’s unlikely Frank Vogel gives him a shot in such a pivotal Game 5.
Schroder, Kuzma and Caruso are without-a-doubt the difference makers for the Lakers tonight. If each can score double digits, Los Angeles should be in good shape. But that’s no given.
Schroder should have a big night. He’s been excellent so far this series. Kuzma and Caruso are the bigger concerns. Both have struggled on the offensive end, though their efforts on the defensive end and in the rebounding department have been huge.
With the assumption LeBron James dominates tonight’s game, the Lakers need Schroder, Kuzma and Caruso to help on the offensive end. And a few clutch threes from McLemore would certainly help.
The Lakers take on the Suns in Phoenix this evening at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.