While the NBA playoffs, which will conclude Tuesday night in Los Angeles, may be down to a best-of-three series, the Lakers and Suns are yet to be decided. The Suns were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by the Warriors, with the Lakers just missing out by beating the Spurs in seven games in the Western Conference finals.
The Lakers have already won the first three games of the series with blowout victories in each. With the series tied at three games apiece, the Lakers will look to close out the series with a decisive victory at home. The game will be televised on ABC at 7:30 PM. The Lakers have been playing well on home-court this season (7-2 in LA), and their home fans will be hoping that they can get the win that they need to clinch the series.
The Los Angeles Lakers return to the desert to take on the Phoenix Suns in a crucial Game 5 of what has been an exciting first-round playoff series. It’s time to continue our NBA playoff odds series and make a prediction and pick for the Lakers vs Suns game. The Lakers lose on their home court and, more importantly, they lose Anthony Davis with a groin injury. Davis’ participation in Game 5 is uncertain at this point. The Suns are on the mend after regaining home-field advantage in a game in which Chris Paul looked good again after his participation in the game was questioned. Here’s what the bookies think about the Lakers’ and Suns’ chances of winning.
NBA Ratios: Lakers – Suns odds
Los Angeles Lakers +4.5 (-110) Phoenix Suns -4.5 (-110) More than 209,5 points (-110) Less than 209,5 points (-110)
Why the Lakers can make up the difference
The Lakers’ biggest concern is the health of their two key players. Anthony Davis has a groin injury and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope is recovering from a knee injury. Both are doubtful for game five. Lakers fans and bettors alike are hoping both can play at least limited minutes. If they do, it will change the game and the series. Even in the worst case scenario, if neither plays, the Lakers still have one of the best players in the world in LeBron James. So far in the series, LeBron has been more of a distributor. In the first four games, he averaged 21.8 points, 8.5 assists and 7.3 rebounds. If Davis doesn’t play, expect him to easily score 30 points in this game. In a series that has been low on scoring so far, it’s entirely possible that James’ rebound will be enough to give the Lakers the win. Neither team scored more than 110 points in a game, and both teams scored less than 100 points twice. Los Angeles really needs this match to be unspectacular. Their defense proved to be very good and limited the Suns to just 32.3% shooting from beyond the arc and 44.8% from the field. That’s five percentage points less in each category than Phoenix had in the regular season. The Lakers’ future in the postseason is now in the hands of LeBron James and their defense, which is not a bad thing given the circumstances.
Why the Suns can close the gap
Phoenix goes into this match with almost every advantage. The Suns beat the Lakers on their home floor to avoid a nearly insurmountable deficit, and Chris Paul scored 18 points despite a shoulder injury that has hampered him. They now have a chance to take a 3-2 lead at home as the Lakers struggle with injury problems. Even if Anthony Davis plays, chances are he’ll only play a few minutes. Without a healthy AD, Los Angeles should be seriously weakened on offense. Even when Davis played, the Suns had a great defense. They almost completely eliminated the Lakers from the arc, allowing just 29.1 percent from long range. Los Angeles didn’t do much better, shooting just 43.0% of its attempts from the field. The Lakers could now be without their top scorer Davis and one of their best KCP shooters. It could be a long night for James and his teammates on offense. The Suns have a much more balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging double figures in the series. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton have been outstanding in their postseason debuts, averaging 25.3 and 19.8 points respectively. If Davis is healthy, Phoenix has already seriously cracked the Lakers. It’s hard to imagine them losing to one man, even if that man is LeBron James.
Prediction final gameLakers vs Suns andTip
Unless LeBron James has a masterpiece on offense, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers scoring in the triple digits in this game. The Suns’ defense will be able to focus almost exclusively on stopping James, and Los Angeles has yet to show the depth to overcome that problem. Combine that with the many scoring chances Phoenix has, and I think the Suns will win handsomely and cover the floor. THE FINAL PREDICTION AND SELECTION OF THE LAKERS IS THE WITHOUT : PHOENIX SUNS -4.5 : FX 111, LAL 102
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