The Los Angeles Lakers marched into Chase Center in San Francisco looking to throw the first punch vs. the defending champion Golden State Warriors and take Game 1 in what is expected to be a grueling Western Conference Semifinals series between two teams with polar-opposite playing styles.
The Lakers did just that by eking out a five-point victory after nearly getting knocked out by a Warriors’ 14-0 counterpunch run before dragging themselves off the mat to finish on their own 5-0 run. It was an impressive feat, especially considering the Warriors were 19-3 in their previous 22 home games in the playoffs.
With the opener out of the way, all eyes shift to Game 2. Naturally, you would expect the Warriors to treat this as a “must-win” since losing the first two games at home would basically be a death-knell for the series.
And with that sense of desperation will also come adjustments from the Warriors coaching staff that the Lakers need to be ready for. I discussed three potential ones in the following video:
The cat-and-mouse game of the NBA playoffs is unlike any other, particularly during the early games of a series as teams, players and coaches get a better feel for one another.
And when you mix in the high level both these teams are playing and competing at along with the familiarity between key players on each team, this has all the makings of an elite, back-and-forth series.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, is a youth basketball coach at the U12 level and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC and analyzes the Lakers from a skills & medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.