and welcome back once again a SportsCastr news were, as always, I am out of armed, wrecked talking, all things nd a We come to you on a Wednesday on the heels of an important game in the L.
A Lakers and Houston Rockets.
As we know Houston jumped out to that first game lead, had the 10 Siri's lead.
And then quickly we turn the page just two games later and the Lakers take Games three and now find themselves up to one in that series.
And when you first take a step back and think about it as far as the impact going forward, you now look and say, If you're the Houston Rockets, you're still in this thing.
Obviously, it's far from over point, relatively speaking, when you start out in this Siri's.
If you get Game one and you lose Game two, you really want to come back and grab game number three because you understand that losing back to back games like this, especially against a team like the Lakers, where you can make the case like the Clippers if you're one of the they considered to be front runners to make the Western Conference finals to make the N B A Finals.
You don't want to give them that much momentum.
So even though 21 is nothing at this point in Game four can go Houston's way and we find ourselves in a three game series.
You still have to be looking at it and saying, Even if we get game for and were even quote unquote, you're still staring down the barrel of needing to win two out of the next three games after having just one.
So that's the real difficulty here.
You need to win three out of four games against the L A Lakers.
That's why the task it's so difficult and you're really talking about.
If you tie the Siri's and then you want to get the Siri's lead, you need to win two in a row, and that's where it becomes a struggle.
If you were to lose again, lose Game five and go down three to now, you're still in the task of needing to win two games back to back in order to on the verge of elimination.
So in elimination games than your talking about LeBron and what some of his teams have done historically and trying to fend that off inside of this game, just inside of the win that they got their 1 12 10 to LeBron James put himself in the position of being the old time win percentage leader in the playoffs, which is a fantastic accomplishment individually.
And when you again pull back here and think about even though he had his time down in Miami with Bosch with Wade and really had a fantastic few year run there, uh, you know the time in Cleveland Bo.
Initially, we first came in the league.
He was dragging that team to the playoffs and having to take some lumps, having to take some losses along the way.
So the fact that he's still able to kind of put that feather in his cap is an impressive feat.
I know some people point to the Eastern Conference and say, relatively, what was the level of competition? But I still go back, especially in those early years with Cleveland.
When you look at the roster that was around him pre going back the second time and having Kyrie there and having Kevin Love there, you know it's a different animal when you're talking about the likes of ****ie Gibson, Ah, and Varejao being some of the big the key players around around him on those rosters.
So you have to realize that it takes a lot to have enough balance there to be able to surge and take over that that type of category as an n b A player.
So ah, fantastic accomplishment for him in microcosm.
But after the game, a game where he put up 36 points gave you five.
Ah, I think it was 99 rebounds and five assists to go along with.
It turns the attention over to Kobe Bryant and obviously his legacy not just as a Laker, but as a human being in a lot of ways.
The relatively still recent passing off a very young man and his post playing career accomplishing so much off the court.
And LeBron tried to turn that not only to hopefully doing Kobe Bryant proud of his performance and what the Lakers are trying to accomplish this season, also to Kobe Bryant's family and understanding that this is still very much and now, in honor of the legacy that Kobe Bryant left behind as a Laker this year.
Getting back into the playoffs for the Lakers also marked the accomplishment of a set snapping a seven year drought, even going back to last season, where they missed the playoffs.
Obviously, in LeBron's first year there, but now in his 17th season, they snap a seven year drought for the Lakers, and right now it feels like they're in a really strong position to go ahead and finish things off.
Still, long way to go in this series, but take care of things against the Houston Rockets and then turn their attention potentially to the match of that We thought we were going to see coming in.
And that's of course, between the Clippers and the Lakers there in the Western Conference finals.
The interesting thing that I will say is go back and we talked about this a couple of different times.
When you think about you know what the expectations were down in the bubble.
We said Lakers little lax, a daisy. Cool.
Maybe we all knew that it have a ton to play for.
Neither do the Clippers, and certain teams didn't have to prove anything over the eight game restart So, you know, were we getting the fully charged up Lakers when you could hedge your bets and say, We're going to see the best of of what these players are when the playoffs really get going? And then that first game against Portland happened and they had come in surging Dane time, getting the job done bit winning the playing game against the Grizzlies in order to get to this point, take Game one and then just kind of feels like business as usual.
And even in that, though, we felt like we were able to kind of point some of these things out.
Why isn't Anthony Davis just playing at the five where he's going to be the most effective inside inside of this scheme here for for the L A Lakers, especially when you go against the team like the Rockets, where you're just naturally a bigger and do more difficult matchup? Saying thing? By the way, in the Portland syriza's Well, um, you know questions about LeBron James.
Can he just turn this thing on in Year seven team? We know that he was on a mission throughout the year, but I think we expect this not just an MBA, any sport you're always expecting at some point that drop off to come.
And while it usually doesn't happen in the middle of the campaign like this coming out of the stoppage all the way from March, you did at least wonder.
Is this layoff going to impact LeBron James? How are they going to survive losing a V? Every Bradley turned out that Rondo is certainly a more important piece that I think some people were saying from the outside, I know he's not a needle mover unto himself, but when you're looking at a team that has a lot of veterans and that needs someone, they can rely on it at that point position.
He's obviously given them some stability.
They're coming back from his injury as well.
The other thing to think about here coming off of, Ah, victory, as they did in game number two, the Game three stat lines post victory in game number two for LeBron James are not astounding.
But it's a very interesting thing when you get inside the numbers here.
You're really talking about a guy in LeBron James that for his career playoffs, let's just give you that rundown of 28 nearly 29 points.
He's giving you the seven assists per game, the nine rebounds per game knocking down 74% of the line, three point percentage of 33 nearly 49% there.
Look just just north of 49% from the field overall, in a Game three following a victory in Game two, he gives you 28 points performance.
He gives you seven assists per game.
In those games, he gives you 73 nearly 74% from the line, 33% from beyond the arc and 49% from the field.
You know this? That may seem like Okay, so he hits his average.
But consistency is what's so crucial about LeBron James in these gangs In game threes, he comes in with a 104 and 56 record.
So whether or not you go back and track the idea of, you know, where does he stand in terms of games where maybe they're down 02 in a series or if they're up to Oh, it really doesn't matter, right? If you're talking about his overall record in those instances, you're still gonna be taking in the idea of, Well, if you're down oh to you're trying to fight back because if you go down through, obviously it's all but done.
If you're up to Oh, it means that it's a critical third game where you can all but close out the series against your opposition by having an effective performance.
So the fact that in the Game three of the Siri's and coming off of a victory specifically that LeBron James is able to give you such a consistent and even performance on a game to game serious the Siri's year to year, decade to decade type of consistency.
It's something that you really have to marvel at and again, as we highlighted 17 years in and still someone who is able to understand what the moment calls for and by the way, because we talked about this is, well, Anthony Davis, choosing to go to L.
A right didn't want to be a part of the pelicans and that rebuild that they were going to go through or just trying to get things on the right track for him.
And you can understand why dealt with injuries of his own.
We've had the discussion around whether or not Anthony Davis is the rial player there in L.
That the organization is most concerned about maintaining and retaining going forward, right? We know that has an opt out opportunity if you want, so you assume he's going to come right back to the Lakers.
LeBron James, as we know short term contract, don't know how much longer he will play for, though he seems like he's doing all right.
I I don't know if you automatically say, Well, 80 is so much younger.
He's the future there for the Lakers.
That may be true, but the reality is that LeBron James brings such a legacy with him and such a track record of success in the playoffs and the ability highlighted here to have consistent performances when they matter most.
Going up to one in this Siri's now puts an enormous level of pressure on the Houston Rockets in game number four, losing back to back games as they have now.
That's something that you don't know about when it comes to Anthony Davis.
That's something that you don't know about yet when you look at a Johannes That's something that you don't know about when you look at a Luca who took a huge step forward in his development before our very eyes in the playoffs but still came up short injuries, everything else there to be considered.
But these are the things that you don't know about young players when you're trying to project the importance and value of keeping them with your franchise and making sure that you continue to build out with the right pieces around them.
That your your intel about Donovan Mitchell on what's next for him.
You talk about Jamal Murray having some real big performances over the course of these playoffs, but we don't know, right? When did they come up These big moments in their career? They're starting to put some of those stat lines down for themselves.
But you can go ahead and bank on the legacy of what LeBron James is built, and he's still doing it right now, improving those points.
Anthony Davis has been has been an incredibly valuable piece here.
There's no doubt about that.
It's it's LeBron and it's a D, but I'm still gonna hang my hat on the experience on the consistency on the confidence and the straight wear.
With all that LeBron James has shown year after year playoff series after playoff, Siri's, as we say, they now find themselves up to one game.
Number four will take place tomorrow night.
It becomes pivotal that they try to find a way.
If you're Houston to buck this trend now, losing back to back games and if you're LeBron James, I'll be interested.
Let's get inside those stat lines and see where is LeBron James? Stack up when they go into a game number four up, two games to one so effectively, what you're talking about is getting to a 31 series lead.
And then, as we know, that's the death sentence, by all accounts, when it comes to coming back in the series, even though we have experienced it just around ago, with the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz far, far less likely to be able to win three games in a row, especially against a team like the Lakers, you think about that.
Utah and Denver Siri's where, even though they're up 31 you still look at it and say right, but it's Utah and they're young and they don't have a ton of playoff experience.
Rudy Gobert is there.
Obviously, he's been there.
But you still have Mitchell young player still again building his own playoff legacy for himself.
So there's a very unknown, unknown thing there about How do these guys check in? How do they step up and how to Jamal Murray perform? How is the Joker perform with their backs against the wall? They go ahead and they pull it off.
You're not going to do that.
More often than not, I will guarantee that it's never happened.
I don't think in LeBron James career, where he's been up 31 in the series and gone on to lose that Siri's I boy, I don't steak too much on it, but I'd stick nearly everything that that's the case, and that's because a team led by LeBron James is going to be prepared.
They're going to be ready, and when it comes down to crunch time, they always know that they can turn and lean on the King to drive that point home and make sure they get across that finish line.
Siri's ah pivotal moment coming up in game number four for them.
Obviously, it's going to be a must watch there later tonight.
As we say, there's also going to be an opportunity to dive in on that Celtics Raptors.
Siri's there, where, as we know 6 30 game time.
Celtics up 3 to 2 of those three losses for the Raptors have been blowouts.
That's obviously concerning it.
Feels like other running on their last legs.
Got Ibaka in a walking boot, so concerns around his availability as well.
And then we're gonna get that to one Siri's once again.
So we just highlighted it right.
Get inside of CA Wise numbers a little bit and think about what he's been able to do in a relatively brief time with the Clippers.
We go back to last year winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors so they could get a real stranglehold here.
Or can Jamal Murray and the Joker in the Denver Nuggets once again, maybe do it a game sooner? I don't think you're gonna get that chance to come back from 31 against the Clippers, but if you can make that statement right now in game number four and tie this series back up.
It's gonna meaning of everything to play for going forward.
Likewise for Houston.
But unfortunately, it's a wait and see in a lot of those times.
And when you go up, by the way, when you're the favorite in the series and you're up to one like both L A teams are brimming with confidence.
Going to Game four.
If you're the Houston Rockets and you start out with a win toe, open up the series and now you're down to one.
It is an eroding.
It's an erosion of confidence there because you came out, you hit him in the mouth, you get that, W you lose.
Game number two.
Okay, you expect it.
But you want to grab that Game three victory, so you start to send the message.
Hey, this is gonna be a pendulum swing here and game to game.
We're going to keep exchanging blows, and it's gonna come down to a Game seven battle.
Now you've lost two consecutive.
You're down in this Siri's.
You're a game away from really being on the ropes and all but being eliminated.
And if you're the Houston Rockets, you're talking about the Antoni the second that this Siri's ends, he most likely is let go.
I would think maybe not after winning that Round one, so there's a possibility that he's retained himself there, but he could be gone.
And then you start to look over the roster and think about what pieces and parts could be removed.
That being said, legacy is cemented for LeBron James, and yet he continues to add to that as a L. A Laker.
Now that game will kick off tomorrow night, enjoy the N B A basketball to night and check in with Matt Brooks with Simeon Russell with Keith McPherson and myself.
Adam are bricks right here on SportsCastr News, where we're covering all things N B A.
I thank you for checking in with us and we will catch up with you soon.