Chapter 574 - West Conference Finals 4
If Jake wasn’t playing for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, the San Antonio Spurs team would be the favorite to win this game as it did in Jake’s past life, but with Jake on the team, it would be different.
The Los Angeles Lakers team had a hard time winning against opponents if Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were playing poorly when the opponents also had a good attack and even then the opponents had to have 1 great player or 2 players to defend against Jake.
But in the San Antonio Spurs team’s strategy to defend they would have to focus on defending against Shaquille O’Neal and preventing opposing players from attacking in the painted area of their defense, so they planned to prevent Kobe and Shaq from making many points.
With this strategy from the San Antonio Spurs team, they could not put more than one player to defend against Jake, so Jake would have more freedom to attack and was confident of making as many points as he could with three-point plays.
The San Antonio Spurs team did not have one of the best attacks this season and so if Jake managed to score a lot in that game it could be important to guarantee victory for the Los Angeles Lakers team even if Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant could not make many points.
Furthermore, Jake was confident that Shaq could still score many points even with David Robinson and Tim Duncan defending against him and Kobe could score many points even just trying mid-range shots without attacking in the opposing painted area.
At the beginning of the game, the San Antonio Spurs team started well in the attack and pressed in defense as if they wanted to show that they were not afraid to attack at the opposing team’s home, this was what Coach Rambis expected and trained the Los Angeles Lakers to defend well from the beginning of the game.
In one of the plays, Avery Johnson advanced the ball and passed it to Mario Elie on the left, Elie received the ball and Kobe Bryant arrived pressing the defense, Elie held the ball a little and passed it to Sean Elliott on the right.
Elliott received the ball and Rick Fox came pressing on defense, Elliott tried to deceive the opponent with a feint, but Fox was not deceived and kept defending, so Elliott decided to pass the ball to David Robinson upfront.
Robinson received the ball and Shaquille O’Neal arrived pressing in defense, Robinson received the ball with his back to the basket and turned away making a mid-range shot to make 2 more points for the San Antonio Spurs team.
From the start of the game as in most games, the San Antonio Spurs team relied on Robinson and Duncan to do most of the San Antonio Spurs team attacks, Shaq and Dennis Rodman were trying to defend, but Duncan and Robinson were performing very well in that game.
Fortunately, even though the San Antonio Spurs team managed to score a lot, the Los Angeles Lakers’ attack was also very good and the Lakers team had the advantage since the beginning of the game.
In another play Jake advanced with the ball and passed to Kobe on the right, Kobe received the ball and Elie came pressing on the defense, Kobe tried to advance on the right with a feint, but Elie remained firm in defense.
Kobe held the ball for a while and passed it to Jake further back, Jake received the ball and Johnson came to defend, Jake was quick and tried a shot from outside and made 3 more points for the Los Angeles Lakers team.
It was the second three-point ball that Jake hit in that game and so he already had 6 points, just as Jake hoped the Lakers team was still fine in the attack with Kobe and Rick making some mid-range shots and so the Los Angeles Lakers team had the advantage in points even without trying to make layups and dunks.
Coach Rambis of the Los Angeles Lakers team had already prepared the players for a difficult game like this and if Jake, Kobe, and Rick were performing well, the Los Angeles Lakers team had great chances of winning the game.
The first quarter continued with both teams attacking and defending well and the Los Angeles Lakers team continued with the points advantage thanks to the three-point attacks that Jake was able to make.
Soon the first quarter ended with the Los Angeles Lakers team with a good advantage in points, in that first quarter Jake played for 12 minutes and had 12 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal, Jake made a good performance in the attack and was having difficulty in defense because the San Antonio Spurs team attacked more with Duncan and Robinson who attacked far from where Jake defended.
"The first quarter ends and the Los Angeles Lakers team is winning with a good point advantage, the Lakers team seems to be taking advantage of the support of the fans playing at home and Jake Smith, Kobe Bryant, and Rick Fox had a good performance in that first quarter."
"The San Antonio Spurs team also tried to press in attack and defense, but they scored fewer points than the Lakers team and made more mistakes in attack, in defense they managed to prevent the Lakers team from attacking with Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Rodman."
"It’s true, even though Tim Duncan and David Robinson are performing well, the San Antonio Spurs team did not get the advantage in the first quarter because of Jake Smith’s 3-point play in the first quarter."
"If the game continues like this, the Los Angeles Lakers team’s point advantage will only increase, but I don’t think the San Antonio Spurs team can do anything to change that, they are doing very well to prevent the Lakers team’s attack from to count on Shaq who has been the second-best player in the Lakers team and who scores a lot of points in every game."
Just as commentators said the San Antonio Spurs team was doing a good job of defending in that game, they managed to prevent Shaq from scoring too many points and also managed to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers team from getting too many rebounds in that game.
The San Antonio Spurs team couldn’t change their defense just to defend against Jake, Kobe, and Rick and prevent them from trying outside shots and mid-range shots, so they could just keep playing like that and hope that Jake, Kobe and Rick miss more attacks in the rest of the game.
The second quarter continued in the same manner as the first quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers team continued to attack with mid-range shots and Jake’s three-point shots and they continued to increase their points advantage.
Even with the San Antonio Spurs team’s good defense Jake still managed to make some assists for Shaq who also scored some points, the Los Angeles Lakers team also sometimes managed to prevent Duncan and Robinson from making the points and thus the Lakers team’s point advantage it just increased.
Jake knew that the Los Angeles Lakers team was getting a good lead on points because Kobe and Rick were performing very well in that game and were hitting a lot of mid-range shots, but it would be difficult to expect that to happen in every game.
Even so Jake knew that the San Antonio Spurs team would not change the way of defending just because of this game, after all, if they gave Shaq more freedom to attack it would also be even more difficult for them to win the next games.
Soon the second quarter ended with the Los Angeles Lakers team winning with an even greater advantage in points, Jake and the players of the Los Angeles Lakers team were more relaxed with this advantage in points and knew that they were more likely to win this game.
The crowd that filled the Great Western Forum was also more excited to see the Los Angeles Lakers team winning, in the interval Jake could see where his mother and his friends were sitting and saw that they were happy to see the Lakers team winning the game.
Jake was also happy to be performing well in that game and he was more confident knowing that Eva was watching the game, and Jake was more excited knowing that his friends could also see the Los Angeles Lakers team winning that game.
The game continued and the Los Angeles Lakers team continued to win the game until the end of the last quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers team won the game with 106 points against 82 points for the San Antonio Spurs team.
In this game, Jake played for 48 minutes and had 52 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 6 steals, Jake double-double in that game and this was the game where Jake scored the most points in the NBA, this was also the game that Jake tried more three-point shots, Jake tried 21 three-point shots and that’s why he made so many points just missing 5 of the 21 three-point shots he tried.
It was coach Kurt Rambis who told Jake that he would be very important in that game too and that he try as many three-point shots as possible whenever he got the chance, and the result was the best possible for the Los Angeles Lakers team.
"The game ends and the Los Angeles Lakers team got the victory in that game with an advantage of more than 20 points, that was a great result for the Lakers team that won the first game at home and thus got the first victory and is closer to advance to the NBA Finals."
"The players of the Los Angeles Lakers team had a great performance in that game and with Jake Smith having one of his best performances this season making 52 points, this was the second game of the season in which Jake scored more than 50 points and was the new record of Jake’s points in the NBA."
"Kobe Bryant and Rick Fox also had a great performance in that game, Kobe had 22 points and Rick had 16 points, Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Rodman who was well defended didn’t get many points in that game, but they also helped in defense and attract the attention of the San Antonio Spurs team’s defense."
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter