For LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers to win, Anthony Davis and LeBron James have got to dominate. At least, those are the words Charles Barkley and others have been saying in regards to the Lakeshow and their path to a title.
Throughout these playoffs, both Lakers stars have done pretty well and, as a result, the team has done well, making the Finals with an impressive 12-3 record. Unfortunately, tonight, they both got outplayed by Heat star Jimmy Butler, who Barkley admitted was the best player on the court in Game 3.
“Listen, I wanna take my hat off to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. Tyler Herro, all those guys, these guys were awesome tonight. That was a perfect Miami Heat basketball game. They are terrifically coached, they are very well-disciplined, but this, to me, as two things:
Number one, Jimmy Butler willing his team to win this game.
But, Chris, we had this conversation earlier today. Whenever Anthony Davis doesn’t dominate, they’re not going to win. He was in foul trouble and, like, don’t even worry about what his numbers were. I got nothing but respect and admiration for LeBron James, but if Anthony Davis doesn’t dominate — cause this Lakers team, they’re not a great team — the Lakers aren’t going to win. And tonight, Jimmy Butler was the best player on the court, and that’s why the Miami Heat won.”
Charles Barkley: Tonight, Jimmy Butler was the best player on the court pic.twitter.com/gInJcslWhD
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) October 5, 2020
With 40 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds, the 5x All-Star certainly had himself a night. Looking back at those first two losses, and how he pretty much guaranteed his team would win at least one game, it’s almost as if he willed them to this victory.
Of course, in truth, the Miami Heat won the same way they always do: together.
Meanwhile, the recipe for success in L.A. couldn’t be any clearer. On a night where Davis scored just 15 points and 5 rebounds, the Lakers lost to a team missing some of its best players. It is obvious now that A.D. is the key to them closing out this series and winning the title. At 35-years-old, LeBron just can’t carry that burden like he used to.
How the Lakers respond to tonight’s pretty surprising turn of events will depend on how well the star big man plays. From what we saw tonight, it certainly won’t be getting any easier.