LeBron James asserts that he is fully capable of defeating the Golden State Warriors. However, carrying it out might be more difficult than it seems.
With star power, intense rivalries, legacy-defining stakes, and what could potentially be a chess match in rotations and strategies at both ends of the court, the Warriors and Lakers’ second-round matchup is shaping up to be epic.
LeBron distilled the Lakers’ winning formula down to one incredibly straightforward idea, despite all the potential complexity.
While eliminating mistakes is simple in theory, it will be incredibly difficult in practice — that’s why the Warriors are the Warriors.
How much can LeBron and the Lakers limit mistakes against the Warriors?
The Warriors this season are clearly not the same team that they were at their peak. According to Inpredictable, they rank 16th in the league in points per possession after a defensive rebound and 17th in the league in points per possession after a turnover.
In general, they haven’t been able to punish teams for making stakes in the same way they have in years past.
However, there is still a tremendous amount of muscle memory for this veteran team and with the pressure turned up in the playoffs they can still respond. Lose track of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson for a half-second and they’re drilling a 3-pointer of cutting through for an open layup.