Dribbles: Lakers? Warriors? Still Not Entirely Easy to Say

Some quick dribbles on the Lakers-Warriors series that the Lakers lead, 3-2.Stephen Curry drives to the basket vs. LeBron James

1. Warriors star Stephen Curry is 6-of-24 shooting on 3-pointers over the last two games combined. Wow. The Lakers truly have done a masterful job on him defensively, maybe the best I’ve ever seen on the perimeter.

2. Curry still makes plays and is great, of course. But he’s had to change his game from 3-point marksman to a guy who gets it done mostly via the drive or mid-range.

3. A lot of that is the mere presence of Lakers big man Anthony Davis and the game plan instituted by coach Darvin Ham. For all the talk of the players, Ham is having a very good series.

4. Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson just isn’t the same. He’s become largely just a spot-up shooter. That’s not to pick on Thompson. Age and injury get to everyone, eventually. In the last three games, Thompson is averaging 11.3 points on a miserable 29 percent shooting. He’s made zero impact on the outcome beyond that.

5. Yes, Davis had to exit the game with what appeared to be a head injury. He was wobbly and needed a wheelchair to get to the locker room, Chris Haynes of TNT reported. Haynes added that Davis appears to have avoided a concussion. But he will undoubtedly need to undergo some testing before playing in Game 6. He is indeed expected to play, per Haynes.

6. That’s good, because I don’t think there’s any way the Lakers hang on to win this series minus Davis. LeBron James has been magnificent as the old guy who’s still got it. But he’s not the James of old. He’s not carrying the team.

7. Even with Davis, I go back and forth on who will win the series. Yes, I’m leaning Lakers, given that they’re at home for Game 6 and the Warriors really struggle on the road. But I also know that Curry is due for one of those monster games where he can’t miss. And if the Warriors win Game 6 … well.

8. Either way, I think the series is great for the NBA, great for people who love basketball. James compared it to a heavyweight prize fight, with each team “exchanging haymakers” and the other trying to stay on its feet. Fans will remember this one for a long time.

9. Translation: Just enjoy it. When it comes to James, Curry, Thompson and even Warriors forward Draymond Green, there may not be too many more of these battles — if any at all. All of those players are on pro basketball’s back nine. Their athleticism is leaving them, but their sheer will and playoff know-how deserve praise.

10. Anyway, I’m gonna go with Lakers in six. But let’s just say I don’t feel super confident about it. But if the Warriors do lose, I suspect the dynasty is over. Green will leave (maybe for the Lakers) and Thompson will probably need to start coming off the bench. Those, of course, are topics for another day.

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