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2020 NBA Finals: Heat vs. Lakers Game 5 odds, pick & prediction

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

October 8th, 2020

A Herro is more than a sandwich. It’s also a covering lifesaver for Heat backers. After a close-fought Game 4 in which the Lakers pulled away late, young Tyler Herro hit a seemingly meaningless three as time expired to make the final score 102-96, a six point deficit in a game with a point spread of seven points.

The Miami Heat were the right side winners of Game 4, being within the number for most of the game, but it was still a tough beat for Lakers backers that thought they’d endured a close-fought contest only to see Goliath put away David in the final stages. In Game 5 on Friday, Oct. 9, the Lakers are once again installed as seven-point favorites.

Sat, October 10 2020, 1:05 AM

LA Lakers

-325

VS

Miami Heat

+255

Bam returned and Davis dominated

In Game 4, the Heat enjoyed the return of Bam Adebayo, who contributed 15 points and seven rebounds on an efficient eight shots. Interestingly, his return meant fellow big man Meyers Leonard received zero minutes though, and his counterpart on the Lakers, Anthony Davis, had the highest plus-minus differential of any player in Game 4, checking in at +17.

While Adebayo is clearly a more athletic and dangerous weapon for the Heat than Leonard, the way in which Davis plays makes Adebayo less impactful than he might be against other, more traditional centers. Davis has shifted into the center position for the Lakers (JaVale McGee got no minutes and Dwight Howard received only eight in Game 4), and while Davis is far from a traditional center, he consequently benefits when facing other non-traditional types, of which Adebayo qualifies. Despite all of Adebayo’s skills, in this particular series matchup, the Heat do not experience the same benefit from that skill set they might normally.

Heat need more froom Herro

For all his last shot heroism, Tyler Herro continues to be the weak link in the Heat roster. He is a dynamic player and has the confidence to attempt shots, but to have him attempting the most shots of anyone else in the entire game is a disservice to the rest of the team.

Herro is a good player that will get better, but his 21 points on 18 shots is not efficient basketball, and this gets reflected in the -13 differential that occurred when he was on the court. While Herro has young legs and plenty of energy, the Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra would benefit from shifting some of Herro’s minutes to Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodola, who have significantly more postseason experience and have executed multiple winning plays that don’t necessarily make the box score.

Championship No. 17 is within reach for the Lakers

In Game 5, the Lakers have a chance to finish the series and win their 17th NBA championship. Given the expectations, the pressures, the memory of the late, great, Kobe Bryant, and the overwhelming power that LeBron James and Anthony Davis present in tandem, I’m confident the Lakers will win and conclude the season on Friday night. Whether they cover the spread will largely depend on the shot-making capabilities of their supplemental teammates and the willingness (or lack thereof) of the Heat’s younger players to defer to veteran star Jimmy Butler.

Will the Lakers cover the spread against the Heat in Game 5?

Normally I would lean to taking the Heat due to their superior free throw shooting percentage and the possibility that this game is decided at the charity stripe. However, it feels far more likely the Heat will force bad threes in a last-ditch effort to win the game, thereby allowing the Lakers to pull away late to cover the spread.

Pick: Lakers -7

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