The Phoenix Suns delivered a disappointing 115-85 loss to the Lakers, securing a 3-2 lead in the series. The Suns were clicking on all cylinders from the early start of the game and had a 30 point lead after the first two quarters. It was evident then that the Lakers don’t stand a chance, especially since LeBron James was the only one who showed up to play for the Lakers. The rest of the starters and role players were absolutely disastrous, and the absence of Anthony Davis showcased how important he is to this squad.
The criticism for the Lakers’ poor performance was real after the game, with Shaquille O’Neal being vocal about what the Lakers need to do in the next game if they want to win the series potentially. Shaq was disappointed with how the Lakers approached the game, not playing like someone supposed to defend their title. The mere fact two of the starters went scoreless and the rest of the squad having a poor performance doesn’t put much belief in the Lakers’ success against the Suns.
As a former Laker, I have a g14 classification for what I have to say now. They played soft; they played with no heart, no pride, and no sense of urgency. LeBron had 24 points, one starter had 7, one had 4, and you got two starters that had zero. When one guy goes down, the next man got to step up. Every team has that guy, and you have to step up. Not only that, they gave away that win, and now is your chance to make a name for yourself. We’ve been waiting for Kyle Kuzma to be that guy, and I need a 30 piece from Kuzma because AD is out; somebody has to step up.Shaquille O’Neal, via NBA on TNT
Shaq stressed out that championship-caliber teams need to have a sense of urgency and play with pride which wasn’t the case for the Lakers in last night’s game. It’s fair to say the Lakers are struggling with injuries missing AD, who is an essential part of their team, but there is no room for excuses for their approach last night.
When it comes to the Lakers and great championship teams, they play with pride. We never had all of our players healthy, but we still played with pride. The stars played well, stars played when they were hurt, and the others stepped up.Shaquille O’Neal, via NBA on TNT
The Lakers will need to figure out what adjustments they need to make to win game six. Davis is still questionable for the next game, and even if he will be back, there is no guarantee he will be at 100 percent, which means LeBron and others will have to step up big time to overcome the deficit. LeBron has experience being in this type of situation and definitely will do everything he can to put the Lakers in a position to win, but he can’t do it by himself. Just like Shaq said, other players will have to step up big time and show more urgency and pride in their next game against the Suns.