Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Preview: Lakers vs Heat – NBA Finals – Game 5

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Los Angeles Lakers (15-4)  |  Miami Heat (13-6)

 

The Lakers take a game 4 victory over the Head with a final score of 102-96

 

Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

In game 4, the Lakers rebounded well from their game 3 loss and managed to play great defense against the Heat. Holding Miami to 96 points was difficult; not many expected that to happen after Butler had his 40-point night in game 3. The Lakers made the proper adjustments to stop the Heat. It’s up to the Heat to make more adjustments to match up to the Lakers in game 5. 

An unpredictable strategy the Lakers utilized was giving Dwight Howard fewer minutes. He only played 7 minutes while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris were given around 30 minutes, which is more than they typically get. It was unpredictable. So expect the Lakers to utilize it again, simply because it worked. Even though Morris shot 2 for 8 from the floor, the Lakers enjoyed having the extra speed for offensive options. JaVale McGee did not play a single minute, meaning the Lakers utilized a smaller lineup than they usually do. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were both given near 40 minutes, which should happen again in game 5. The best players play the most minutes in the Finals, so they will both be playing near that again. 

Even though Erik Spoelstra has made some amazing adjustments throughout his coaching career, he faces a more talented team off a win and hungry to end the series. As Jimmy Butler himself has stated, “everything must go perfectly for them to beat this star-studded Lakers team.”

Even though Butler managed to score 40 points to beat them in game 3, the odds this happens again are low. The Heat have more depth in role players, but all it takes for the Lakers to catch up to them is one role player doing a solid job. Unless Butler scores at least 30 points, James and Davis will not have problems if at least one of their role players scores 20 points with a decent shooting percentage. The odds that the team shoots below 30 percent from three is slim, especially with how they have been playing this series.

 

Having Bam Adebayo helps the Heat a lot, but the Lakers, utilizing a faster offense, caught the Heat off guard in Game 4.

 

 

Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: DraftKings Nation

Even though it won’t be much of a surprise if they do it again, the odds everything goes perfectly for the Heat versus this Lakers lineup are very slim. The Lakers have more talent than Miami and have had a different role player put up a great performance in almost every game. Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris, and Rajon Rondo have all had their 20 points games in these playoffs. The odds that they all go cold are slim. Even if they go cold, beating James and Davis in an elimination game is nowhere near an easy task. 

For the Heat to beat a determined Lakers team, everything must go their way. Butler will have to top 30 points, their role players cannot struggle, they will have to find an answer to the Lakers adjustments, and nearly all the Lakers role players will have to go cold for them to win.

The odds are against the Heat, especially since they most likely won’t have point guard Goran Dragic. The Lakers are also playing for the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who, as we all know, tragically perished along with seven others in a helicopter crash on January 26th. The team dedicated the rest of their season to him and are wearing the “Black Mamba” uniforms in Game 5. The Lakers have not lost in those uniforms since they started wearing them in the bubble and play with a different mentality when rocking the “Black Mamba” uniforms.

Don’t be surprised if we crowned a new NBA Champion after Game 5.

 

Tip-off is scheduled for Friday at 6:00 pm and it airs on ABC.

 

 

NBA Finals schedule (All times PT)

  • Game 1 – Lakers 116 – Heat 98
  • Game 2 – Lakers 124 – Heat 114
  • Game 3 – Heat 115 – Lakers 104
  • Game 4 – Lakers 102 – Heat 96
  • Game 5 – Friday, October 9, 6 p.m.—ABC
  • Game 6* – Sunday, October 11, 4:30 p.m.—ABC
  • Game 7* – Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 p.m.—ABC

*If required

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

      

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