The Lakers outshone the Heat for the third time in the NBA Finals. This time around, it was the defensive end of the Lakers that came to the rescue. Jimmy Butler’s men had a hard time breaking into the Lakers’ zone, and that cost them heavily.
The Lakers have made more three-pointers per game than their opponents in the entire series. Game 4 was no exception where the men in gold and purple shot 14 buckets from the downtown against just 11 from the Heat. The hero of this performance remained the largely underrated Kentavious-Caldwell Pope.
The Lakers have nurtured a raw talent
One must remember that it was KCP who pulled the Lakers up in Game 1 when the Miami Heat were spearheading with 25-12 in Q1. His back-to-back three-pointers forced the Heat to back-off so Anthony Davis and LeBron James could bring up their game.
That performance wasn’t a fluke because KCP did it again in Game 4. During the side-court video conference, KCP said, “Man, I feel good. I knew they were trying to close out on my three points all night. So just utilizing my pump fake and then try to get to the basket or make a play. I was open tonight.”
Caldwell-Pope went on to explain the flawless strategy behind those threes. He revealed, “Stay within the game floor, don’t let the last shot that I miss dictate my next shot. So I lean on that a lot… I know I am a shooter and my teammates looking for me to shoot, so I’m going to continue to shoot… Defense won the game tonight. We wasn’t really scoring the ball that much but we scored enough to keep the lead. But defense got us to ‘W’. We got stops when we needed, rebounded the ball, and just played Lakers basketball.”
“My teammates are looking for me to shoot so I’m going to continue to shoot.” @CaldwellPope talks post-game with @LakersReporter after dropping 15 PTS with 5 AST in tonight’s win. pic.twitter.com/dPbL2S0ldM
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) October 7, 2020
KCP has proved his worth
The anchor in the Lakers’ starting five, KCP has been averaging points in double figures in the NBA Playoffs 2020. He is shooting at 41.6% from the field and has been really productive for the squad. In the NBA Finals 2020, he has scored a total of eight three-pointers in the four games till now. His threes have all come in moments when the Lakers desperately needed them.
The entire team has showed enough trust in his shooting prowess and that has shown in his three-point accuracy which was 37.5% in Game 4. He and AD have both had a +/- of 8 and 17, respectively. The Lakers’ starting five scored a handsome 75 points in the match and left not much work for the bench.
The Miami Heat will need to figure out some solutions to curb these deeper shots. They must bring back that offensive domination in the do-or-die Game 5.