Chapter 568 West Conference Semifinals 8
After a few minutes of the first quarter has passed, Jake can see that in this game Kobe and Shaq were performing well, so he could be more relaxed and focus on assists and tentative three-point shots in some moves.
Even though the Portland Trail Blazers team was making a double-team defense on Jake, the Los Angeles Lakers team’s strategy of pushing forward in the first quarter and second quarter continued.
The Los Angeles Lakers team had the best attack of the season and with Jake drawing the attention of the Portland Trail Blazers defense it was easier for Rick, Kobe, and Shaq to attack, in addition, Dennis seemed to be performing well in that game too and was helping with some offensive and defensive rebounds.
So in this game with all the players of the Los Angeles Lakers team having a good performance, it was difficult for the players of the Portland Trail Blazers team to defend the attack of the Lakers team.
Jake knew this and concentrated on continuing to assist, if the Portland Trail Blazers team continued to do this double-team strategy they would not be able to stop the Los Angeles Lakers team from scoring a lot and opening up a big point advantage.
If the Portland Trail Blazers team stopped making this double-team defense on Jake, he would start attacking as he was supposed to do at the start of the game and would make lots of three-point shots to make as many points as he could.
The Portland Trail Blazers team was also trying to put pressure on the attack so as not to let the Los Angeles Lakers team increase the advantage in points, but the Lakers team was defending well in this game with Dennis taking several defensive rebounds and Jake helping with the steal defense and pressing on defense.
With the support of the fans, the players of the Los Angeles Lakers team really looked like they wanted to win this game to advance to the next stage, after all the San Antonio Spurs team and the Utah Jazz team also had to play the fifth game and they would still have to play another game to advance to the next stage.
The Portland Trail Blazers team was on the attack in another play, Stoudamire advanced the ball and passed it to Ryder on the left, Ryder received the ball and Kobe came pressing on the defense, Ryder held the ball and passed it to Wallace ahead.
Wallace received the ball and Dennis came pressing on the defense, Wallace advanced using his strength and Dennis was unable to stop Wallace, so Wallace advanced and tried a hook shot to make 2 more points for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Soon the first quarter ended with the Los Angeles Lakers team winning with a good point advantage, only Jake being well defended with the Portland Trail Blazers making a double-team defense against him, the Lakers team still managed to do the same as in the last game.
Jake played for 12 minutes and made 6 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, and 3 steals, Jake still managed to hit 2 shots from three points and made many more assists in that first quarter, if the Portland Trail Blazers team continued to make this double defense. -team against him the Los Angeles Lakers team would still be able to increase the points advantage in the second quarter.
"The first quarter ends and the Los Angeles Lakers team is achieving victory with a good advantage in points, with the advantage of being playing at home the Lakers team is dominating this game even with the Portland Trail Blazers making a double- team in Jake Smith who was the best player on the Lakers team in the previous game."
"It’s true, coach Mike Dunleavy tried to use this strategy of making a double-team defense against Jake Smith because Jake did very well in the last game and scored 20 points in the first quarter only and was very important in the defense too."
"Furthermore, coach Dunleavy knew that he would have to stop Jake from scoring a lot if he wanted to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers team from making a big point advantage early in the game."
"Unfortunately for the Portland Trail Blazers team, all the players on the Los Angeles Lakers team seem to be performing well in this game, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal seem to be doing really well in attack and Dennis Rodman is getting a lot of offensive and defensive rebounds."
"Even with the Portland Trail Blazers double-team defense, Jake still managed to help a lot with assists and making 6 points and Rick Fox is also very good in attack."
"What it looks like in this game is that the players on the Portland Trail Blazers team are not performing as well as in the last games, so it will be difficult for the Portland Trail Blazers team to win."
Just as commentators said the Portland Trail Blazers team players were not performing well in that game, it seemed that the defeat in the last game, the fatigue, and the pressure of having to win was affecting the Portland Trail Blazers players.
The Los Angeles Lakers team players also realized this and were happy with the advantage of the good points they got in the first quarter, so they knew they had to keep pushing in the attack in the second quarter.
Coach Dunleavy knew this was going to be a difficult game for the Portland Trail Blazers team to win, yet he knew he couldn’t change the strategy and would continue to leave Stoudamire and Grant to defend in double-team against Jake, after all even if Wallace returned to defend against Dennis who didn’t score in that first quarter would be worse for the Portland Trail Blazers.
The second quarter started with the Los Angeles Lakers team putting a lot of pressure on the attack trying to increase the points advantage, even more, the Portland Trail Blazers team was trying to put even more pressure on the defense and attack to try to diminish the points advantage that the Lakers team had.
Jake advanced with the ball and soon Stoudamire and Grant came to defend against him, Jake did not continue to advance and passed the ball to Kobe on the right, Kobe held the ball a little and passed it to Rick on the left.
Rick received the ball and Wallace continued to press in defense, Rick tried to trick Wallace with a feint, but Wallace was not fooled and continued in defense, so Rick decided to pass the ball to Jake further back.
Jake received the ball and Stoudamire and Grant were in defense, Jake waited for a little and made a high pass to Shaq who jump and took the ball high and made a dunk to complete the alley-oop and make 2 more points for the Los team Angeles Lakers.
The fans of the Los Angeles Lakers team were more excited about this beautiful play by Jake and Shaq, even with the Portland Trail Blazers team making a double-team defense against Jake it was impossible to prevent him from making assists, especially with Shaq and Kobe having a great performance in that game.
In another move the Portland Trail Blazers team was on the attack, Stoudamire advanced the ball and passed it to Grant on the right, Grant received the ball and held it a little before passing it to Rider on the left.
Rider received the ball and Kobe came pressing in defense, in this game the Portland Trail Blazers players were not performing well in the last games, even so, Rider and Wallace were performing well and even with Kobe and Dennis struggling to defend they still managed to make many points.
Rider made a feint and pretended that he would advance from the left and advanced to the attack from the right, Kobe was deceived, but still managed to continue in defense, so Rider made another feint pretending that he would advance and did a step back.
Rider stepped back and was getting ready to attempt a mid-range shot, but as soon as he stepped back, Jake came in and made a steal by taking his ball and moving forward, Rider didn’t see Jake and didn’t have time to react.
Stoudamire saw Jake doing the steal and went back to defense to prevent Jake from making the points on the counterattack, Grant also tried to go back to defense, but Jake was faster and Grant was unable to keep up with Jake’s speed.
Jake continued to advance and near the three-point line Stoudamire tried to prevent Jake from continuing to advance or Jake would pass him using his speed, Jake realized this and did a quick crossover and advanced on the right.
Stoudamire was tricked, but still managed to recover and continue in defense, Jake jab stepped from the left and Stoudamire did not react so Jake advanced from the left, Stoudamire realized he was tricked and tried to make a foul on Jake to prevent him from making the points.
Jake noticed this and did a step back and Stoudamire ended up unbalanced and fell to the ground, Jake saw this and just advanced and dunk to make 2 more points for the Los Angeles Lakers team.
The crowd was excited by this beautiful move by Jake and Stoudamire was embarrassed by this ankle break play, Jake was also happy because this was the first steal he made that he managed to make the points on the counterattack.
In the second quarter, the Portland Trail Blazers team continued to try to press in the attack to decrease the points advantage, but the Los Angeles Lakers team’s points advantage increased even more with Shaq and Kobe having a great attack performance.
Even in plays where Kobe and Rick missed some attacks Dennis still managed to catch the offensive rebound and this helped the Los Angeles Lakers team to further increase the points advantage.
So the second quarter ended with the Los Angeles Lakers team winning the game with a big advantage in points, this advantage was greater than the advantage that the Lakers team had in the previous game in which Jake scored 20 points in the first quarter, after all in that game the Portland Trail Blazers team players were not performing as well in attack.
Coach Dunleavy realized that it would be almost impossible for the Portland Trail Blazers team to achieve victory in that game by playing as a visitor, even if they did the foul strategy, so Coach Dunleavy told the team members of the Portland Trail Blazers not to make fouls in the past. quarter and try to win by playing the best they could.
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