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The Lakers need some key pieces to step up if they are to have any shot of beating the Suns in the NBA Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers needed to win a tough play-in game to even qualify for the 2021 NBA Playoffs. But no one ever said title defenses were meant to be easy.
The problem was the Lakers did not get much-needed rest and it showed Sunday in a loss to the Phoenix Suns. No one could slow down Devin Booker and one of the top stories from the game was LeBron James being accused of flopping.
This is still a team with title dreams, so let’s look at three Lakers who must step up in Game 2.
SF Los Angeles Lakers
We start with the most obvious player of all. 18 points in 36 minutes is just not going to cut it if the Lakers are to win even one game this series.
James is the star of stars and while he did finish with a plus-2 line in the game, his teammates struggled with him off the floor. That has been true for most of James’ NBA career, even when he has other stars surrounding him.
He also only got to the free-throw line for six attempts in Game 1. The Lakers need James attacking the basket as much as possible to wear down the Suns and flip the tempo in their favor. Otherwise, it may be a shootout and Phoenix having Booker on their side is bad news for Los Angeles.