Las Vegas, NV – We have come to the conclusion of the first ever NBA In Season Tournament and for the first ever one, it was an overwhelming success.
One thing that was a piece of skepticism was how much would the players care and that was answered with emphasis. They care a lot. They care about winning any completion. They care about being the first one to win the tournament. They even care about the money that’s on the line no matter how big or small their contracts are.
What better way to end the tournament than with the two teams that took the tournament more serious than all of the other teams, the Pacers and Lakers. Both squads came in undefeated and they were completely different from each other.
The Lakers being a more veteran laden team led by the older player in the league, LeBron James. They like to hang their hat on the defensive end and slow things down a bit. The Pacers on the other hand are more of a younger squad that like to get up and down with a lot of pace and a very high powered offense.
One of those things would have to give.
In the beginning of the game it looked like it was going to be the Pacers offense that thrived more. The Lakers tried to match their output on the offensive end but quickly realized that wasn’t going to work and made a noticeable adjustment. They started to lock in defensively and the Pacers had a little bit of a struggle to score.
You can only keep a high powered offense down for so long though. After the Pacers made their adjustment it became much easer for them to score. Though they did settle for too many threes.
The Lakers grabbed control of the game and had it for the majority of the half by slowing the game down to a level the Pacers didn’t want to play at and took a 65-60 lead into halftime. If the Pacers wanted to win the game they would need to improve their point of attack defense and overall defense because the Lakers got to the paint very easy and were a +30 in the paint.
It didn’t improve.
The Lakers continue to get whatever they wanted. Particularly in the paint where they put up 64 points through three quarters. Through three quarters of play, the Pacers didn’t make any of the needed adjustments to take control of the game and it was starting to look more and more evident the Lakes were going to win the game.
And that’s exactly what happened.
The Lakers continued their dominance in the paint and there was nothing the Pacers could do.
Lakers were just too much for the Pacers who continued to fight but the Lakers were able to slow down their offense in impressive fashion and win the game 123-108.
They were led by Anthony Davis who had a MONSTER night with 41 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks. Austin Reaves and LeBron James both had great nights with Reaves putting up 28 points and 3 assists off the bench while LeBron added 24 points and 11 rebounds. D’Angelo Russell was solid with 13 points and 7 assists.
The Lakers made history by becoming the first team to win the In Season Tournament and LeBron James wins the first MVP