The Lakers have decided to go small for Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been searching for the final knockout punch in the 2020 NBA Finals, and in Game 6, they’re finally pulling out their secret weapon.
No, it’s not Alex Caruso, though Stadium’s Shams Charania reports the Lakers fan favorite will be inserted into the starting lineup over center Dwight Howard.
No, the real genius of this move is the very next domino in that domino effect: Anthony Davis will be fully unleashed as LA’s starting center.
The Lakers are unleashing their secret weapon
Davis has spent time at center during this series, but he’s typically shied away from that position over the course of a grueling, 82-game regular season. The Lakers have usually deployed him as an ultra-versatile power forward, playing him alongside both JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard in this postseason. Now he’ll mostly be playing the 5, allowing the Lakers to spread the floor even more.
With Bam Adebayo’s speed and positional versatility, head coach Frank Vogel has been sitting on this high-powered counter for awhile now. Game 5 proved the Miami Heat won’t go quietly into that good night as the Lakers pursue their 17th NBA championship in franchise history. LA will have to force the issue in Game 6, which is likely the reason behind this change in the starting rotation.
Through the first five games of the Finals, Howard — who is averaging just 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in the series — has been a team-worst minus-12 in 70 minutes of action. The next-worst mark on the team is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s minus-2 in 154 minutes.
Caruso, meanwhile, has averaged 6.8 points per game on .478/.429/.750 shooting splits. Swapping him into the starting lineup over Howard gives the Lakers an extra shooter and a more versatile lineup, all while granting us the Bam-Brow big man matchup we’ve been craving more of in this championship series.