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The Lakers imposed their size in the paint to win the NBA Cup

December 10, 2023 12:19 AM ET

The Lakers are the first champions of the NBA In-Season Tournament. Coming to the Finals, we know it will be a battle of styles, where while the Pacers will try to impose their strong pace, the Lakers will try to take advantage of their size in the paint.

LAS VEGAS — Los Angeles Lakers is the first champions on NBA In-Season Tournament. In the run-up to the grand final, we know it will be a duel of styles, where while the Indiana Pacers They will look to impose their speed, the Lakers will look to take advantage of their size in the paint.

Something has to give, and the Pacers They just can’t stop the Lakers in the painted area. It didn’t help that in the first nine minutes of the game, three Indiana players were charged with two fouls.

No one is more important than Myles Turner, because the Pacers don’t have much depth man. Turner battled foul trouble throughout the game, and he didn’t have the aggressiveness needed to try to stop Anthony Davis.

The Lakers celebrated the NBA Cup title. Photo: EPA

Because of this, Davis dominated the game in the first half with 21 points and 12 rebounds; at the same time a constant defensive presence.

And when LeBron James himself got into foul trouble, Austin Reeves scored 22 points from the bench. They were the only points off the Lakers’ bench in the first half, and Reeves was sick and doubtful until the final moments. Another not-so-great opportunity for Reeves.

On defense, the Lakers sent two men almost constantly to Tyrese Haliburton, who after committing turnovers in the last 113 minutes of the game, committed two turnovers in the first two plays of the game. A bad omen for the future for the Pacers.

The Lakers, surprisingly, are not accurate from long range. In fact, this is the first time since the bubble in 2020 that the Lakers did not have a single three-pointer in the first half. In addition, Los Angeles made their first three-pointer with 1:11 left in the third quarter. However, it didn’t matter, as the Lakers dominated the paint from start to finish.

You have to give credit to the Pacers’ resilience, because even though they were dominated, for most of the game, they were held to one shot of less than 10 points. But it seems that when the Lakers wanted to hit the accelerator, the Pacers had no answer.

Indiana is a very good team that eliminated most of the heavyweights of the Eastern Conference thanks to a brilliant Haliburton. As it is, the truth is that they still lack the defense if they want to have championship aspirations, especially when they face teams of their size; After performances like this in the In-Season Tournament, it is possible that they will attract more free agents to play in Indiana.

On the side of the Lakers, it must be said that the motivation is visible from the start of the cup.

The Lakers Imposed Their Size In The Paint To Win The Nba Cup

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LeBron James was very clear from the beginning about his desire to “make history and be the first to win this cup.” And when LeBron gets motivated, as he continues to defy time limits, it’s hard to limit him, especially when they’re all-or-nothing games and not best-of-seven series.

However, the Lakers had to suffer, because after a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter, and a 7-2 run to start the final period, Indiana got within three points. Without understanding how, the Pacers were in the game when they seemed to be dominated.

But at the end of the day, Turner fouled out, and Davis controlled the game on both ends of the court. It was an outstanding performance by Davis, who finished with 41 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks.

If Davis plays at this level, the Lakers will be contenders, and in this case, they will be champions. The Lakers extended their rich history of accolades with their first ever title in an event that will only continue to grow from now on.

LEBRON JAMES IS THE MVP OF THE CUP

It seems unbelievable that James will be 39 years old on December 30. When he was 18, he looked like 25, and when he was 38, he looked like 25 again.

Because the most impressive is not the fact that he gathered statistics, but physically he continued to dominate in his twenty-first season.

LeBron James was chosen MVP of the NBA Cup Final between the Lakers and Pacers played in Las Vegas. Photo: Getty

Against the Phoenix Suns in the quarterfinals, he scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. Against the New Orleans Pelicans he scored 30 in 22 minutes. And in the grand final, even though Davis dominated, LeBron finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

In recent years, a seemingly indestructible body like LeBron began to suffer some injuries, but he worked tirelessly this offseason, and looked in good shape. When it matters most, LeBron once again shows his best version. And now it’s just a matter of seeing if he can withstand the rigors of the season.

World Nation News Desk
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