After winning Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers were in a great position. Plus, Grizzlies star Ja Morant was set to miss Game 2 on Wednesday night. However, they weren’t able to get the job done despite his absence.
Memphis took down the Lakers on Monday, as a large portion of LA’s roster struggled to get things going offensively, with Anthony Davis, in particular, playing poorly on that end. After the game, head coach Darvin Ham spoke about his performance and how the Grizzlies slowed him down.
“From my vantage point initially, [they were] just forcing tough catches, denying him, forcing them off his spot, and then crowding the paint, and tilting behind him,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Flooding the backside. And, again, when the shot clock is steady dwindling, and you have to go find a way- he’s doing his job. We tell our guys, whenever you drive the ball, and you collapse, you have two or three defenders around you, or you try to post up, you have two or three defenders around you, now you got to go to the second or third option. Swing it quickly and just play a little faster. But again, my hats off to them. Taylor [Jenkins] and his staff, they’re really excellent coaches, and they bumped up their physicality. Bumped up their crowds. And, defensively, taking away the paint. And they came away with the win. So, again, time to go back to LA, put our best foot forward, and defend our home court.”
Davis finished the night with some rough numbers, especially offensively. He put up 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and five blocks on 4-of-14 shooting from the field.
Magic Johnson Rips Into Lakers After Game 2
As a whole, the Lakers severely underperformed in Game 2. On a night where the Grizzlies were without their star player, the Lakers failed to find any sort of rhythm for the majority of the night, and Memphis big man Xavier Tillman stepped up and dominated the Lakers in the scoring column (22 points) and on the glass (13 rebounds, five offensive).
After the game, Laker legend Magic Johnson had some harsh words for his former team on Twitter.
“The Lakers have no one to blame but themselves. They didn’t come ready to play, that’s why they lost 101-93 to an undermanned Memphis team,” Johnson tweeted.
Magic Johnson Warned Lakers Before Game 2
Johnson’s tweet after the game was especially ironic, as before the game, he tweeted about how the Lakers shouldn’t be complacent in Game 2. And that’s exactly what they were.
“If the @Lakers are to win Game 2 they cannot be complacent. They have to play harder, more aggressive, and take better care of the ball because we know the Grizzlies will play better and be more physical in Game 2. The Lakers must be ready!” Johnson tweeted ahead of the game.
Now, the Lakers will head back home to LA in hopes of defending their court and regaining the series lead.