Friday, October9, 2020, AdventHealth Arena, Kissimmee, Florida, 9 p.m. ET
Heat at Lakers Betting Preview: Heat (+7/-105), Lakers (-7/-115)
Much like in Game 3, Friday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals could take on a decidedly Jimmy Butler flavor. With the Heat’s season on the line, there is no time for finding an offensive flow and getting everybody involved. Butler showed he can take over, scoring 40 points with 13 assists and 11 rebounds in a victory Sunday. The question is whether or not he has the energy for a repeat performance.
Butler does have options if the Lakers make him the focus of the defense. Bam Adebayo (neck/shoulder) returned in Game 4, scoring 15 points with seven rebounds in 33 minutes. He went 6 of 8 from the field. Butler scored 22 in Game 4 on 17 shots after taking 20 shots one game prior.
Miami cranked up their defense in Game 4, holding the Lakers to 102 points. It was L.A.’s lowest total in a victory since the playoffs began.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers had balance between their two stars on offense in a Game 4 victory, with Anthony Davis and LeBron James each going 8 of 16 from the field. Davis had 22 points and James had 28. Where Los Angeles really excelled, though, was on the defensive end by not allowing Miami to get on track. The Heat’s 96 points on Wednesday were their lowest in these playoffs.
James might have three NBA titles to his credit, but he is fully invested in the effort to bring the Lakers their 17th title all time. He is providing inspiration on and off the court, like his team-wide text before Game 4 that set the tone.
It might seem symbolic, but do not overlook the Lakers’ decision to wear their “Mamba” jerseys in Game 5 as a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. The Lakers are 4-0 in the jersey this postseason and wore them in Game 2 of the Finals.
NBA Finals Game 5 Betting Pick: Heat at Lakers
Game 4 was a throwback game of sorts with both teams showing a defensive-minded approach. Baskets were hard to come by and offense runs were even harder to realize.
All eyes will be on Butler, but after his memorable performance in Game 3 the Lakers defense doesn’t figure to get caught on its heels.
Heat at Lakers Betting Pick:
Lakers 104, Heat 100
NBA Finals Game 5 Best Bet: Heat at Lakers
The Heat know the best way to take down the Lakers again in the series is to stay within arm’s length and let it all hang out at the end. If the opening two quarters are close, the defense on both sides only figures to get tougher from there.
Heat at Lakers Best Bet: UNDER 216.5 (-110)