While it’s always good to pull off a win, the Los Angeles Lakers don’t seem to care much about winning Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Obviously, it takes four games to win the series and the team is trying to keep their eyes on the prize. However, that didn’t stop some players from still trying to have fun.
The Lakers’ bench has been one of the more lively groups in the NBA and they’ve definitely ramped things up since there are no fans in the bubble. It’s been fine to this point but LeBron James seems to be getting slightly annoyed with it. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the superstar had to call out his teammates for getting a little too animated:
Davis, Howard and some players on the Lakers’ bench began making the glasses gesture again as they walked to their bench. James didn’t let this celebratory occurrence slide this time.
“Hey, hey! Stop it! Stay locked in!” he shouted at his teammates before entering the huddle. “This s— ain’t over, man.”
The Lakers easily finished their mission in Game 1. Before the final buzzer sounded, James walked over to each of his teammates and congratulated them on striking first, but also reminding them that they need three more wins.
Players are obviously allowed to have, especially the guys on the bench who don’t play much. That said, LeBron hasn’t spent multiple months in a bubble just to lose focus now.
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Anthony Davis Talks Lack of Fans
For the first time, the Finals are being played without fans. It’s certainly a different experience but Anthony Davis thinks that it actually helps the Lakers.
“You kind of see that it’s a Finals game, but once you go out there and start playing, I don’t think the fans are allowed to make any noise, so it feels like a regular game in the bubble, even though that pressure of the Finals is still there,” Davis said. “So I think it makes it a lot easier, especially for our guys to just go out there and play.”
Having no fans definitely does tone down the pressure but it also lessens the excitement of a win. This is the first time in the Finals for Davis and some other young Lakers so that lack of pressure might have a positive effect on them.
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Frank Vogel Wants to Keep Foot ‘on the Gas’
It’s been a long road to the Finals this year and after months of championship expectations, the Larry O’Brien trophy is finally within the Lakers’ grasp.
“We know that this is just one win,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We are happy that we got one win, but obviously we have to keep our foot on the gas.”
The Heat are a very good team so the Lakers would be very unwise to slow down now. It’s clear that they understand that they have to play hard until the series is over. It’s worked for them this far and it seems unlikely they slow down now.