The LA Lakers and the Miami Heat are going to be facing each other off in game 4 of the NBA Finals. Many have predicted that this would be a 4 game sweep for the Lakers, with Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic being injured, no one expected Jimmy Butler to drop a 40 point triple-double with 2 steals and 2 blocks to secure a win for the Heat. Is this the much-needed mentality boost that the Heat needed? Are the Lakers going to secure the win tonight? We will try to predict the outcome!
The situation in Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are the clear favourites in this game. They have the best duo in the league in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In the game 3 loss, LeBron managed to drop 25 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. He was just 2 assists shy of having another triple-double in the NBA Finals. Truly remarkable what LeBron is doing in his 17th year in the NBA. Of course, we have to mention the other part of the duo, which is Anthony Davis. The Lakers big man has been on a run in the playoffs. He has averaged 28.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in this playoffs run. Both of these players are complementing each other perfectly. Davis helps LeBron on the defence and LeBron feeds Davis with assists and lobs in the offense. We also have to talk about the surrounding cast, after all, this is a team sport. The Lakers success wouldn't be possible without the likes of Danny Green, KCP, Dwight Howard or Rajon Rondo who has turned his “Playoff Rondo” mode on. He has been Lakers 3rd best player during the playoffs. Him being in the lineup means LeBron can take a rest and not be the single soul on the team who is orchestrating the offense. He has also been very valuable on the defence. Rondo, Caruso, KCP and Danny Green are the reason why the Lakers have been able to shut down the 3pt shooters from Miami Heat. They are also one of the main reasons why the Lakers lost in game 3. KCP and Danny Green combined for 7 Points. They had a combined 2/18 from the 3pt line. The usual plan for the Lakers on the offense is for LeBron or AD to drive in and pass to the wide-open shooters, but if the shooters can't hit anything the whole game then that plan doesn't function anymore. We do not expect to see them having such an off night today as well. Everyone has bad nights, and 3 starting players on the Lakers happened to have one on the same night. If you are asking yourself who is the 3rd one, quite simple, it is AD. AD managed to get outplayed on both ends. He scored “only” 15 points on the offense and Kelly Olynyk managed to drop 17 points and 7 rebounds on him.
The situation in Miami Heat
The Miami Heat were the clear underdogs up until game 3. We have to give huge props to Jimmy Butler who had one of the best NBA finals performances that we have seen in the last years. His stat line was :40 points,13 assists,11 rebounds,2 steals and 2 blocks. And he did all this while guarding and being guarded by LeBron for most of the game. He was the vocal leader of the team as well. It is really going to be interesting to see the Heat once Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic return back from the injuries in game 4. What also helped Heat seal the victory were the great performances from Olynyk, rookie Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. While being solid on defence they all managed to drop 47 points together without having the ball most of the time. Jae Crowder did a great job defending the big men from the Lakers. AD and Dwight Howard scored only 19 points together. The great defence and energy from Miami Heat made
the Lakers have almost 20 turnovers(19) and 22 personal fouls. Erik Spoelstra, the head coach, did some critical adjustments on the defence that helped the Heat. The main one being, putting Jimmy Butler on LeBron. It was clear at the end of the game that LeBron was tired from being defended really aggressively by Jimmy Butler.
With all of this being said, we are looking forward to game 4. This is going to be the most important game. If Jimmy and the company manage to get a win, the series will be tied and the shift of momentum will be in favour of Miami Heat. On the other side, if the Lakers win, they will be up 3 - 1 and they will be looking to close out the series. Our experts believe that this will be a win for the Lakers, they have already been in 2-1 situations and each time they proved that they are the better team. We expect to see a really good game from AD since he will be looking for revenge for game 3. For more tips and predictions follow NBA predictions on ProTipster.
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