Lakers, LeBron James beat Warriors, Stephen Curry for 3 reasons – Fitnessnacks & Sports

    The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors will be tipping off the most anticipated second round matchup in recent history on Tuesday. A renewed rivalry between LeBron James and Stephen Curry is quickly becoming the biggest story of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, and it is certainly warranted. James and Curry have been two faces of the NBA over the last decade, facing off multiple times in the NBA Finals. The historic 3-1 comeback over Curry and the Warriors by James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will always come to mind, although bigger stakes seem to be at play this season. If either the Warriors or Lakers win the NBA Finals, it will give James or Curry a highly coveted fifth ring; it will be a definitive talking point in comparing the two when discussing the greatest players of all time. On Tuesday night, the battle to advance in the 2023 NBA Playoffs begins.

    The Lakers are coming off of a 4-2 series victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, culminating in a blowout series clinching Game 6 win. On the other hand, the Warriors earned a hard fought series win against the Sacramento Kings, saved by an historic 50 point performance from Curry in a Game 7 victory. The two teams are now preparing in San Francisco for Game 1, the latest chapter in the book of LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry. It is certainly going to be a highly entertaining series, one that could go either direction. When it is all said and done, the Lakers are going to come out on top and advance. Here are three reasons why LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will beat Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

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    Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis

    If the Lakers are going to beat the defending champion Warriors, it will be for one primary reason: Anthony Davis plays like the All-Star he is. The presence of Davis down low is the biggest advantage the Lakers have over the Warriors, as he is far and away better than any big man the Warriors have. Kevon Looney was a huge bright spot for the Warriors in the first round for his prowess on the glass, but if Davis dominates down low like he can, he will neutralize Looney’s rebounding. Not only will he keep Looney off the boards, but he is an offensive mismatch for Looney and anybody else on the Warriors who will try to guard him. If Davis is on top of his game, he could go for 30 points a tilt in the series.

    The persistent issue with Anthony Davis is his lack of consistency. There are times when he looks like the best player on the planet, not only pouring in buckets but dominating on the defensive end as well, protecting the rim better than anybody else in the league. He looked like that on defense in the first round, as he had 26 blocks over 6 games against the Grizzlies. This totals to an unreal 4.3 blocks per game, an elite defensive total. However, there are also times where he looks disinterested, resulting in lackluster point totals. Fortunately for the Lakers, Davis will take advantage of the optimal matchup he has against the Warriors. The series will end in the Lakers favor because Anthony Davis will dominate throughout.

    Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green meets his match

    While Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have received all the glory for the Warriors dynasty, Draymond Green will continue to do the dirty work. He doesn’t score much, but he will have his fair share of timely buckets while facilitating the offense and holding down the defensive end for Golden State. Not to mention, he will bring elite energy night in and night out, consistently giving the Warriors a mental edge over opponents. However, in this series, he is going to be outplayed by his match on the Lakers. Green’s presence will be negated by the Lakers’ Jarred Vanderbilt.

    Ever since Vanderbilt’s arrival at the trade deadline, he has been the source of energy the Lakers have needed. He is the best defender on the roster besides Davis, and he has the ability to guard all five positions. He demonstrated this skillset in the first round by matching up with Ja Morant, and he will key in on Draymond Green all series. He plays a very similar game to Green, however his superior athleticism and length will allow him to make the key hustle plays over Green. Big plays will come down to who wants it more between Green and Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt will win. The Lakers will beat the Warriors in large part because of Jarred Vanderbilt’s play in the series.

    LeBron James wants his fifth ring before Stephen Curry

    This series is defined by the rivalry between LeBron James and Stephen Curry. It is a battle for generational hierarchy, as both are on a trajectory to be considered amongst the greats to ever play the game. A massive talking point between the better legacy between the two will be the number of championships each won, as both currently sit at four. This makes this matchup arguably the biggest between the two, as the winner will be one step closer to surpassing the other in career rings. With that in mind, LeBron James is going to lead the Lakers to a series win. A fifth ring will not only put him passed Curry, but will firmly put him at or above the all-time great hierarchy with Michael Jordan.

    The primary argument for Michael Jordan over LeBron James is the championship resume. Individual statistical categories are dominated by James over Jordan across the board, but Jordan having six championships to James’ four is a massive differentiator. If James can win his fifth ring this season, at the age of 38, there will be no denying his greatness belongs right next to Michael Jordan’s. It would be LeBron James’ second ring with the Lakers, and will cement that any denial of the bubble ring is nonsense. The 2023 NBA Playoffs series between the Lakers and Warriors is all about LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry, the greatest rivalry of this generation. After the series, James will be the one that is another step closer to his fifth NBA Finals ring.

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