Finally, the Miami Heat have shown that they are worthy contenders for the Los Angeles Lakers. Once they lost two of their key players to injuries, the Lakers took a commanding 2-0 lead. As always, the player that Heat relies on for stepping up when their backs are against the wall took over game 3 and that was it for the Lakers.
By tying his playoff career-high, Butler bagged 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. With just the perfect play, Butler and co. are heading to Game 4 with hopes making the series more gripping and going for a tie. What stands between them and their big win would be Lakers’ Anthony Davis and Jae Crowder has some insights on how to solve that problem.
Jae Crowder on how to intercept Anthony Davis
During a press conference on Heat’s practice day, Crowder was asked, “Jae, Anthony Davis after having obviously a really strong previous game, you guys limited him quite a bit more in the second game. Obviously, I know it’s difficult to replicate against a player of that quality, but were there specific things that happened in the game in that regard, or is it just playing harder or differently? What happened there?”
Jae gave a breakdown on what they did differently in their Game 3 win. Davis. “Well, I mean, obviously he’s a great scorer and you just want to make it as difficult as possible. I felt like we played less zone, I think, Game 3 than we did in the previous games, so that controlled his offensive rebounding a little bit.
“I think if we want to take that away from him, we obviously know he can score the ball at a high level but we gave him a lot of second-chance points that we did not want to give up,” stated Jae.
“So we just wanted to cut that out a little bit and put a body on him as much as possible, and make every catch and every shot attempt, every iso as difficult as possible.”
Can the Miami Heat convert this into action?
Butler is the key to their success. He needs to continue to showcase aggression on the court and replicate his Game 3 performance. Knowing what’s at stake, the Lakers will come back with more fire and the Heat need to be prepared for that. Another point of focus should be their tight defense on LeBron James.
Do you think Crowder’s strategy is enough to tie the series?