“I Should Not Be Down Here” – Houston Rockets Guard Details Difficulty in Guarding Lakers in the Paint

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The LA Lakers haven’t had an easy post-season run, they’ve just made it look easy. While all their opponents have defeated them once, no team has been able to repeat it this post-season. One of those teams was the Houston Rockets, who lost to LA in the second round.

Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers was live on IG with his barber when he saw that Anthony Davis had joined his livestream. Davis and Rivers were teammates in New Orleans when they were younger and have maintained a bond ever since. Rivers took that as a prompt to describe the challenge of guarding the Lakers in the paint.

“Going to the basket, I got you and JaVale [McGee] down there. We were switching everything, too. I’m switching on AD, Bron, JaVale… and I’m hacking the [expletive] out of these dudes. I was like, ‘What are we doing? I should not be down here in this paint.’ I’m 6-4, 215 [pounds], and these dudes are 6-10, 6-11, 7-feet… 260, 270.” (h/t Rockets Wire)

Lakers’ size is their key to success

Lakers vs Heat during NBA Finals 2020
Oct 2, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) blocks the pass by Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the fourth quarter in game two of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Lakers are just a tall team. Their crunch-time point guard is LeBron James, who was bigger than the tallest Houston Rocket player, Robert Covington. He is bigger than Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, but Bron is playing point guard. The size doesn’t end with that, as the Lakers have three other rotational players that are almost 7 feet tall. This includes Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis, and JaVale McGee.

This size has allowed the Lakers to play a physical style of basketball, as most other teams cannot bang in the post with the Laker trees for too long. Rivers is speaking about it now, but it is well known that guarding the Lakers inside the paint is a tall order, literally. However, LA has shown dynamism, especially in the Rockets series, by playing small-ball with Markieff Morris at the five.

Not only is this team tall, but it is also versatile. That’s how they have gotten to the NBA Finals, and it is yet to be seen if they can live up to their moniker as favorites and beat the Miami Heat.

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