Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns: X-factors, key matchups, prediction

LeBron James and Chris Paul (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LeBron James and Chris Paul (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns: Key matchups

Deandre Ayton vs. Anthony Davis

This particular matchup will be one that will have a major impact on the series, as the two big men will battle to prove their dominance and to keep the other out of the game as much as they can. Both Davis and Ayton have had great seasons, despite Davis missing a chunk of time due to injury.

Davis has had the more consistent season, averaging 21.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game, however, Ayton has been more board dominant than Davis, averaging 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. The production from the two big men will be crucial with their control of the glass, defense, and paint dominance will be a key indicator over which team will come out on top.

While Andre Drummond will likely be matched up on DeAndre Ayton for some of the game, all eyes will be on the matchup between the Suns’ star and Davis.

Chris Paul vs. LeBron James

It is crazy to think that these two superstars and future Hall of Fame players have never faced off in the playoffs before. Paul has played 16 seasons and LeBron 18 seasons, but the two close friends will finally get their chance to play against each other in the postseason.

Paul has helped catapult the Suns into the playoffs and homecourt advantage in the playoffs, while LeBron has helped every team he has played for win a championship. The pair have been incredible this season, with Paul averaging 16.4 points and 8.3 assists per game, being an incredible influencer on the offensive end and controlling the Suns’ deadly offense. Meanwhile, James has 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game, proving that he is still one of the best in the league, even in this stage of his career.

The two players will have to be on their game when facilitating their respective team’s offensive game plans, with the ball likely to be placed in their hands for the majority of the series. Both players have the capabilities to run an effective offense and facilitate for others while getting their own games going.

The consistency of the two veterans will be crucial in helping their sides get up against the other, with their matchup likely to be one of the most joyous and anticipated aspects of this series.