The Los Angeles Lakers won a pivotal Game 4 on Monday night in their series against the Golden State Warriors. Already leading 2 games to 1, LeBron James and company were able to pull away late in the 4th quarter and have extended their series lead.
It was a concerted team effort to get the job done in Game 4. James and Anthony Davis of course led the way in scoring, and Austin Reaves finally showed up and scored 21 points. But the story in the 4th quarter was Lonnie Walker, who scored all 15 of his points in the final frame and provided the boost that the Lakers needed to get them over the top.
Greenberg Thinks Lakers Should Rest LeBron and Company
Mike Greenberg says the Los Angeles Lakers should rest their starters in Game 5 vs. Golden State, up 3-1 in the series.
Agree or nah? 🤔
🎥: @GetUpESPN pic.twitter.com/0LWU80EBgQ
— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) May 9, 2023
Game 5 will be an obvious must-win for the Warriors, and they will be heavy favorites for Wednesday’s contest. The saving grace for them is that the game will be played inside the Chase Center in San Francisco, where the home team won 33 of the 41 regular season contests.
The point spread currently sits at 7 points in favor of the Warriors, as the sports books don’t see this Golden State team getting beat 4-1. But the Lakers will do whatever they can to put an end to this series as soon as possible, which would give them time to rest their aging legs before seeing the Suns or Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
But according to ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, they should already start resting their star players.
On Get Up on Tuesday morning, Greenberg was adamant about his prediction that the Lakers were going to lose in Game 5. He says that Los Angeles will not be winning under any circumstances, and cites the Warriors’ championship pedigree and ability to play with their backs up against the wall.
LeBron is 17-0 in Playoff series after taking a 3-1 lead.
? — Warriors in 2023
W — Grizzlies in 2023
W — Heat in 2020
W — Nuggets in 2020
W — Rockets in 2020
W — Blazers in 2020
W — Celtics in 2017
W — Pacers in 2014
W — Nets in 2014
W — Bulls in 2013
W — Thunder in 2012
W —… pic.twitter.com/EWVF7bg34u
— LeBron Muse (@BronMuse) May 9, 2023
Because of this, Greenberg thinks that the Lakers should rest their starters in preparation for Game 6. He compares the situation to playoff baseball, where teams will save their ace pitchers for the must-win games. James and Davis would likely be the aces in this situation, and he believes the team would be better off by keeping them fresh for the next game when the teams return to Los Angeles.
There has already been a big deal made about load management and how it affects the product of the game in the regular season. But playoff load management would be something on an entirely different level. James and Davis would probably scoff at the idea anyway.
Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7PM Pacific.
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