In Games 3 and 4, the Los Angeles Lakers averaged 28.5 attempts from the free-throw line against the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James and Co. won both those games. The Lakers, however, suffered a 121-106 loss against the Dubs in Game 5 on Wednesday, and incidentally, they went to the charity stripe just 15 times on the evening.
There’s no denying that there is a clear disparity in the Lakers’ free-throw output in Game 5 as compared to the previous contests. Some might argue that this had a lot to do with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr accusing LA of flopping right before Game 5. Perhaps Kerr’s comments subconsciously stuck in the mind of the referees, thereby resulting in their lack of foul calls in favor of the Lakers on Thursday night.
LeBron James is having none of it, though. Instead of using this discrepancy as an excuse, the four-time NBA champ has decided to take a high-road approach. At this point, James clearly does not want to waste any time complaining about something that is clearly out of their control:
“Our game is to attack the paint. We don’t mind the contact. We’re not a team that goes out there looking for flopping opportunities,” LeBron said, via Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. “… The game is always won in between the 4 lines; we need to be better.”
What the Lakers can control is their aggression in attacking the basket. This is something that has worked in their favor throughout this series, and they will definitely be looking to take full advantage of the same come Game 6 on Friday. The Lakers can’t afford to lose that one because a do-or-die Game 7 in Golden State’s home court is not exactly a favorable matchup for them.
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