After we thought we might see a clean sweep of a banged up Heat team, Jimmy Butler put together a performance for the ages, willing Miami to victory in Game 3. Bam Adebayo is trending towards potentially returning for a crucial Game 4, as the Heat look to even the series, while the Lakers attempt to take a commanding 3-1 lead.
Here’s what jumps out to me in Game 4 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have now lost one game in each series this postseason, and they’ve had a terrific bounce-back each time. After losing Game 1 to Portland, they won the first half in Game 2 by 17. After losing Game 1 to Houston, they won the first half in Game 2 by 16. After losing Game 3 to Denver, they won the first half in Game 4 by five. Without taking anything away from how spectacular Butler was in Game 3, it’s a different game when Anthony Davis is on the floor for his usual minutes. Look for AD to stay out of foul trouble and dominate this game, regardless of Adebayo’s status. LeBron James sleep walked through that last game, and he and AD had a lot of sloppy turnovers. Look for them to sharpen it up and play well early. The Lakers should also put an emphasis on slowing Butler down with a lot of defensive adjustments.
The first half will be a play for me, where the total is just more of a lean. Last game missed going over by half a point, and the Lakers were still in single digits more than halfway through the first quarter. I expect the Lakers to come out much more aggressive and take control of his game. It’s similar analysis to the first half play — more minutes for AD is good for this total. Bam is a great distributor, and wouldn’t hurt the over at all if he plays. The way Kelly Olynyk is playing, he’ll still have a significant role and help with scoring, but he detracts on the defensive end. Basically, if the Lakers just get back to playing average or above-average basketball, this one should see some points.
*If Bam Adebayo is OUT and the number changes
There’s a lot of contingencies that go with this one, but I have to at least mention it. Since Adebayo and Goran Dragic went out of the lineup, Butler’s dished out exactly 13 assists in each game. It makes plenty of sense — take both your starting PG in Dragic and leading assist man in Bam off the floor — and a lot more falls on Butler. JB is also playing 45 minutes a game as the primary ball handler, which helps. I would not play this if Bam returns and I also wouldn’t play it at -186. If the juice goes down, it’s playable, but even if we get something like O7.5 (-110), that’s worth a look in my mind.
Prior to Game 3, Davis was priced at +130 for Finals MVP. The shift doesn’t make sense to me. The Lakers are still MASSIVE -1667 favorites to win this series, and when they do, LeBron and AD are the only MVP options. AD was the slightly more dominating force in Game 1 and Game 2, and I think Game 3 only helped his cause — LeBron struggled, while the team arguably lost because Davis was in foul trouble. A couple more strong games from AD to close this one out, and I think he’s the favorite to be MVP.
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