Los Angeles will likely spend more time playing Anthony Davis at center on Sunday, an adjustment that’s caused some problems for Miami this series. The team could also task LeBron James with being the primary on-ball defender for Jimmy Butler, Charania adds. Butler poured in a 35-point triple-double in the Heat’s Game 5 win on Friday night.
Starting Caruso in place of Howard will allow the Lakers to play a quicker brand of basketball while adding another shooter around James offensively. Caruso has averaged 6.7 points off the bench in 20 playoff games, shooting 43% with respectable defense.
The Lakers will be seeking their 17th championship in franchise history on Sunday, with Tuesday’s potential Game 7 looming in the background if the team loses.
There’s more out of the Western Conference today:
- Lakers guard Danny Green and his fiancée have received death threats following the aftermath of Game 5, as relayed by Bill Oram of The Athletic. Green missed an open three-pointer that would’ve given the Lakers the lead with just seconds remaining, culminating in an offensive rebound and a Markieff Morris turnover shortly thereafter. “I don’t pay attention,” Green said. “I had to ask, ‘Are you getting death threats?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, you are too,’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know’ because I don’t really pay attention or care. Nor am I upset, shaken or worried about it. I’m just not one of those types of people.”
- Tyronn Lue arrived in Houston this weekend to interview for the Rockets’ head coaching job, as relayed by Mark Berman of Fox 26 (Twitter link). When asked what Lue’s message was to his interested teams, he replied, “Just who I am as a person, as a coach. How I’m able to hold guys accountable, but still get the best out of guys..let guys play free, put them in position to be successful.” The Rockets will formally interview Lue on Monday, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.
- Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is being fueled by the team’s seven-game loss to the Nuggets, eagerly setting his sights on next season, as relayed by ESPN. “Those guys really did their thing,” Mitchell said of the Nuggets. “But at the end of the day it really kind of pisses you off, I’m not going to lie. You know, we were right there. At the end of the day, that’s what it is — we were right there.”