Listen, sometimes you just have to tip your cap. This is Skip doing what Skip does best. A masterclass in trolling if I've ever seen one. Think of all the huge games LeBron has had in his career. The huge playoff moments like Game 6 in Boston or literally any Finals game from 2016. You think those were big? You idiot. The biggest game of his career is coming in Game 5 of a first round series against the Phoenix Suns. I have to admit, I laughed for like 10 minutes when I saw that tweet on my timeline. It's just so outrageous. This isn't even the biggest game he could potentially play in this series! It's 2-2!
But we know why Skip did it. Anthony Davis is out tonight, there's as good a chance as any that the Lakers don't win tonight. I will say though, in this extremely small sample size, the on/off splits with AD haven't exactly been great
but the issue is with no AD, it means you have to play more Drummond/Harrell/Gasol which is basically a kiss of death. So you can see the beauty of Skips troll here. Without their second best player, it's more likely that the Lakers drop this game back in PHX, which means that he'll be allowed to cum himself on live television talking shit about LeBron. It's performance art really.
The bigger story in my opinion is what's happening on the Suns side. I don't know about you, but this looks like a healthy Chris Paul. At least, a healthier chris Paul than what we saw in the first two games of the series
That changes everything for the Suns. A big part of their win on Sunday was the fact that Paul did a great job of hunting the Drummond/Harrell/Gasol big when one of them was on the floor. In Game 4 he shot a combined 4-7 and had 8 of his 18 points against those guys. Do you feel great about any of them defensively? Paul is going to be able to get into his little midrange fall away whenever he wants, which looked great on Sunday. It shouldn't surprise you what the Suns are going to do to those bigs. If they're smart, they will P&R them to death. Harrell ranked in the 9th percentile during the year defending the ball handler in the P&R. Gasol and Drummond didn't even qualify. Anthony Davis ranked in the 70th percentile and held ball handlers to just 38% shooting while defending the P&R. That's a MASSIVE drop off. During the year, Chris Paul ranked in the 79th percentile and shot 52%. Devin Booker ranked in the 84th percentile and shot 50%. Until the Lakers prove they can stop it, I would do that every time down.
Call him soft if you want, but it's also not shocking that in the 2 games the Lakers won in this series, it was due to monster nights from AD. Outside of Ayton, the Suns just do not have the big man depth. Frank the Tank isn't stopping shit. To not have to worry about that will allow them to focus more on LeBron/the supporting role players. As a team, the Lakers shoot just 41.9% from the floor and 35.3% from three when AD is off the floor. They become much easier to guard when you don't have to worry about containing one of the best scoring bigs in the league.
Having said all that, this still doesn't make Game 5 in a first round series the biggest game of LeBron's career. I think everyone knows that. It's what makes Skip tweet so perfect and shows he's really on his troll game. No chance he tweets that out if AD was healthy, because the Lakers would probably be favored. It'll take a vintage LeBron performance to pull it off, especially if guys like Kyle Kuzma refuse to do anything of substance on the basketball court, but that's not exactly news.
I'll never root for the Lakers under any circumstance as long as I am alive, but I sneaky do want to see them maybe win tonight just so we can see the mental pretzel Skip is in.The spinzone and backpedalling would be spectacular.