Outside of LeBron and AD, who can the lakers count on for offense?
heat don’t have the superstar but I think they play great team basketball. Plus ES will not get out coached.
The Lakers have the best two players in the series but Miami has what, the next 4 or 5 best?
I still think the Lakers win but the series price seems too high. You have to respect what the Heat have done. A sweep, a demolition of a great Bucks team in 5, and then they beat a great Celtics team in 6. 12-3 in the playoffs vs real teams.
A dog with a bunch of dogs and a don't give a fuck attitude. They are going to be a very tough out.
You seen that I been very confident in the first three series of this postseason. 4 - 1 was more or less what I expected in all 3.
This one is different. Won't go as far as 50 - 50, but 51 - 49 in Lakers favor.
I think that Heat the best team built to face the Lakers, besides the Clippers.
Butler and Iggy on Bron, Bam on Davis... Don't forget that Davis still hurt and no one knows how fit he will be (even if I assume he plays unless he simply can't).
If I had to make a mold to produce player that would fit Heat culture and roster, Iggy and Butler would be the samples - great add ons and will bring the veteran presence to the younger Heat (plus Drugic of course).
Heat are deep, resilient, unselfish and have great defense. They the upgraded Denver - that lacked the defense and the veteran presence. They also the upgraded Rockets, because they can shoot three pointers, but have presence in the paint.
Still, you can't count out the Lakers and that's due to 2 reasons:
1) Defense. I think that Lakers play best defense in the bubble by huge margin. Bucks and Boston are good, but Heat have yet to see such type of defense and when we add all things together, Heat can struggle to put up points on the board. Everything that was said on Heat fit to defend Lakers, can be said in reverse. Davis can guard Bam, Rondo can abuse Dragic, Bron doesn't even have to defend Jimmy. Green/ KCP can do that and keep Bron fresh on offense - and that's huge for him.
2) LeBron - Spoelstra obviously knows him, but still... He will be the best player on court and it's hard to argue his basketball IQ. He can do help defense, something that he does very good and should be fresh enough on offense. He really should watch closely the series Heat played the Bucks, since I assume the strategy of them on Bron will be similar to what they did on Giannis and that can be an advantage of some kind, because playing the Bucks, forced Heat to show their hand, maybe a bit too early.
Add to that Rondo and Caruso that appear to be in great form, Dwight that finally can take the ship and can help keep Davis fresh by guarding Bam for some minutes, after losing to the Lakers last time he was in the Finals (in the same Orlando they are now). In the end, Lakers not only Davis and Bron. They so good, they take all the spotlight, but I think that Lakers are pretty deep as well.
I think that Game 1 is crucial. Lakers don't want to chase Heat in this series. Heat not the Rockets or the Blazers. Losing Game 1, can be very problematic. If I'm the Lakers, I go all in on Game 1.
We will see how it goes. For now, don't have any forecast, but on paper, Heat odds have huge value imo...
As time goes on the 2004 Pistons stuff gets more and more baffling to me. It's not like some plucky David slayed Goliath. Fact is that Pistons team had the 2nd best point differential in the regular season that year and first in the playoffs. They were almost 4 fucking points better than the Lakers during that season.
Wow just looked and the Lakers were -550 in that series!!! That is INSANE.
Also not to get to narrative driven but LeBron in his 10th finals and in the year Kobe passed. Doesn't it just seem like destiny that they finish the job?
that, and I think Lebron knows that this is basically his last real GREAT shot at a title. Next year the West with the Warriors back gets even more difficult
Lebron has been great in finals ( I think) since the 2011 debacle. I don't have any doubt he will be great in this series.
The NBA Finals start on Wednesday and LeBron James has played in 49 career NBA Finals games.
Here is Cleveland and Miami's all-time betting records in the NBA Finals with him on the team:
Those teams are also 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS in Game 1s.