The Heat and Lakers are set to play the fifth game of the 2020 NBA Finals on Friday. This could be the final basketball game from the bubble for the calendar year. The Seattle Storm swept the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA bubble, and the Lakers currently possess a 3-1 lead here.
The Lakers handled their business in a tight Game 4. And a big reason for the win was Anthony Davis and his willingness to cover Jimmy Butler for the duration of the game. He told Frank Vogel he wanted the challenge after watching Butler tear up the Lakers with his 40-point triple-double in Game 3.
The return of Bam Adebayo did give the Heat a boost, but clearly not enough of one. They were able to hang tight the entire way, even tying the game in the fourth. But LeBron James got hot and took over to make sure that the series would not go to 2-2.
Miami has to come out aggressive and play with the lead. If they’re playing from behind, chances are they won’t make that comeback.
The spread for Game 5 favors the Lakers by 7.5 points. The over/under is set at 216.5.
Miami Tries to Extend Series
A loss would end the miracle run of the Miami Heat, but they are playing on the Lakers’ terms. All three of LA’s previous series this postseason ended in five games. A loss would send them home and give LA the satisfaction of not losing more than one game in any series.
It will start with Butler, who will need to find a way to score effectively with 6’11 Davis on him. There is no excuse now, and they can’t hold anything back. Their one win this series came with Butler’s constant aggressiveness and shot-making.
They will also need Tyler Herro to come out and score effectively, and for Duncan Robinson to continue to bury his threes. Maybe Kendrick Nunn can get back to being the guy that was second in Rookie of the Year voting.
Lakers Look to Stamp Title #17
Having won 16 previous NBA championships, this is nothing new for the Lakers organization. But they haven’t won in a decade, and it feels like longer. A win would validate LA’s crazy 2019 offseason and James’ decision to sign with the team two summers ago.
They remade the roster last year, keeping only a few players from 2018-19 for this season. But the addition of Davis in exchange for their three promising young pieces has proved worth it so far.
All they have to do in Game 5 to end it is to feed Davis the ball early and have James make his shots. They can almost smell it.
It’s Over, Ladies and Gentlemen
The buck stops here. The 2020 NBA season will officially conclude Friday, nearly 12 months after it started. The champions, and rightful kings of the bubble: the Los Angeles Lakers!
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