The Los Angeles Lakers can now breathe a sigh of relief as they’ve survived the play-in tournament. It wasn’t easy but the Lakers were able to beat the Golden State Warriors 103-100 in a highly competitive matchup. One of the scariest moments for the team came in the fourth quarter when Draymond Green fouled LeBron James hard when he was driving to the rim.
LeBron fell to the ground and was grabbing his face in pain. However, not everybody was buying that the reaction was genuine. Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum called out the Lakers star for what he perceived as acting.
LeBron later said that Green had poked him in the eye. While eye pokes don’t always lead to serious injuries, they are certainly painful. Green is a strong man so that couldn’t have felt very good. NBA players often oversell their injuries but LeBron’s pain appeared genuine. Regardless of his performance, his eye is likely to be very sore for a few days.
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LeBron Saw 3 Rims at End of Game
LeBron’s eyes were visibly irritated towards the end of the game. He was consistently flinching and his eyes were watery. It didn’t stop the superstar from hitting a tough game-winning 3-point shot with less than a minute left. Shortly after the game, LeBron revealed that he couldn’t even see clearly when he took the shot.
“After Draymond’s finger to the eye, I was literally seeing three rims out there,” LeBron said, via ESPN. “So I just shot at the middle one. And I was able to, with the grace from the man above, I was able to knock it down.”
Despite the subsequent comments from LeBron, McCollum still wasn’t buying that he was really that shaken up.
Even if his eyes were fine, it was a seriously impressive shot from LeBron and he deserves recognition for it. He didn’t have his best game ever but stepped up when the Lakers needed him to.
What’s Next for Lakers?
For much of the game, it looked like Los Angeles might need to accept that they’d be playing the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors just had their number in the first half. The Lakers decided to wake up in the second half and make the game more competitive. It was a close game throughout but the purple and gold held on in the end.
They now hold the seventh seed in the Western Conference and have to be feeling a lot better about their prospects. The team is set to face the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. Chris Paul has helped lead a complete turnaround of the team. However, they’re going to have their hands full with the Lakers. Had they not suffered so many injuries, Los Angeles would’ve likely been a top-three seed in the Western Conference.
The Suns will now have the misfortune of playing the defending champions in round one. The Lakers clearly still have major issues but will have a seven-game series to work out the kinks.