What we learned from the major matchups in the NBA this weekend
This weekend featured a few huge NBA matchups with the end of the season fast approaching.
Top dogs went head to head, and there was one dog that clearly ruled the yard – the Los Angeles Lakers.
Before Friday, the Lakers were 0-3 against the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers this season.
In the last 72 hours, the Lakers beat both teams in back-to-back games, and it’s the first time they’ve beaten two of the top four teams in consecutive games since Feb. 2009.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2020
So let’s break this down.
It all began on Friday night when reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks came to town…
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 6, 2020
..and were sent packing with a loss, after LeBron James dominated on both ends with 37 points, seven assists and eight rebounds for a Lakers win.
— The Association on FOX (@TheAssociation) March 7, 2020
And the debate hasn’t only been hot about who owns the NBA.
Everyone has been talking about the MVP race – featuring none other than the top two players from both these teams.
LeBron is right on track to catch Giannis in the MVP race. 🏆 🏀 pic.twitter.com/EJ45t47YhN
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) March 5, 2020
And holy smokes did they both put on a show on Friday night.
But ultimately, LeBron & Co. were too much for the young buck.
The story of last night, even more so than LeBron's brilliant offensive night, is the way the Lakers' defense, led by LeBron, gave Giannis immense problems after the opening 4 minutes.
After that quick 10 point burst, Giannis was 7-17 & clearly frustrated, forcing bad 3s.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) March 7, 2020
And Giannis didn’t only come out with a loss on Friday night, but an injury as well.
Giannis sustained a left leg injury Friday night. He underwent an MRI and subsequent examination. The evaluation showed a minor joint capsule sprain of the left knee.
He will not play in the remaining two games of the current road trip. https://t.co/I2PYJH0kWU
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 8, 2020
Now we have more questions than answers. How good are the Bucks really? Can they survive without Giannis? How does Giannis fare in the MVP race?
One thing we know for sure: The Lakers are the real deal.
After their huge win on Friday, they again showed up on Sunday to prove who runs LA.
The first win for the Lakers in the series against the Clippers couldn’t have come at a better time.
It snapped a six-game win streak for the Clippers, who played a roster at full-strength, stocked from the trade deadline.
The Clippers are 10-0 when fully healthy this season.
Those wins were against: Lakers, Nuggets, Rockets, Heat, 76ers, OKC, Grizzlies, Spurs, Suns, Wolves. pic.twitter.com/ti4znslhnp
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 6, 2020
Without any injuries to the lineup, the Clippers seemed unbeatable…
"This was all about the Clippers. They are finally getting consistent minutes, healthy players. They showed you why the Clippers are a headache and a well-oiled machine." — @TheRyanHollins pic.twitter.com/smlGOhQHOQ
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) March 6, 2020
Lakers BIG 3 combined for 82 points vs the Clippers.
– 30/8 for AD
– 28/7/9 for Bron
– 24, 6 threes for Avery Bradley pic.twitter.com/UrnbuVY5BU
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 8, 2020
Sorry Clippers, the Lakers are still the team on top in Los Angeles.
And the King still reigns supreme.
"This next week LeBron can take the throne undisputedly & say, 'I am the best player on the planet.' He can end any conversation by saying, 'Giannis, I outplayed you. Kawhi, I showed you.' If he's the baddest man on the planet This is a huge week for LeBron.." — @TheRyanHollins pic.twitter.com/isPln8QqAu
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) March 7, 2020