LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will try to wrap up the NBA Finals Friday night against the Miami Heat. Photo from @Forbes (Twitter).
- Lakers just a win away from winning NBA Championship
- The Miami Heat are trying to extend the series to Game 6 on Sunday
- Read below to find out our favorite prop bets for Game 5 of the NBA Finals
We’re one Los Angeles Lakers win away from putting the finishing touches on an NBA season unlike any we’ve ever seen.
And if you believe commissioner Adam Silver’s forecasting, this will be the last time we’ll see professional hoops until 2021.
And don’t stop there. We’re running down our favorite Game 5 prop bets. If this is how it ends, let’s do it with all our chips on the table!
We begin with the King.
Prop #1 LeBron James Points
Odds from October 7. Check FanDuel and DraftKings for more prop bets.
Analysis: While the Finals MVP debate was up in the air just a few games ago, an Anthony Davis mini-dip in Game 3 has LeBron firmly in position to be the first player in NBA history to lead three different franchises to championships while claiming Finals MVP.
Players who have posted 500 points, 150 rebounds and 150 assists in a single postseason:
◼️ LeBron James (’07, ’13, ’15, ’16, ’18, ’20)
◼️ Larry Bird (’87)
The King of the playoffs 👑 pic.twitter.com/kK5HzOJRTY
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 7, 2020
In these playoffs, he’s already shown an extra gear in closeout games. In Game 5 to finish off Portland, James had a 36-point triple double. You can forgive him for potting just 29 points with 11 rebounds and seven dimes against the Rockets in Round 2, as that game was a blowout almost from halftime on.
His most impressive was in the West Finals to close out the pesky Denver Nuggets. James went for 38 points, 16 boards and 10 assists, including a barrage of jumpers late in the fourth quarter to cap a personal 9-0 run and end things in five games.
Triple-double (38 PTS, 16 REB, 10 AST) dari @KingJames di Game 5 Final Wilayah Barat NBA Playoffs, membawa @Lakers kalahkan @nuggets 117-107 dan lolos ke NBA Finals. via @NBA #ElshintaSport pic.twitter.com/6HQaPwaREN
— Radio Elshinta (@RadioElshinta) September 27, 2020
LeBron is also 3-0 in closeout games with a chance to win the NBA title. I just don’t see him playing a complimentary role in this one. It’s going to be a supernova kind of performance to capture his fourth ‘chip and his first since 2016.
Feeling really good about this? Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on a James triple-double (+190).
For now, we’ll just stick to the points.
The pick: OVER 28.5 points (-116)
Prop #2 Rajon Rondo Assists
Analysis: How about an ode to another veteran, one who many people thought was washed up before even arriving in Los Angeles? Rajon Rondo has put his stamp on not only this series, but in the playoffs as the Lakers’ third most reliable player after LeBron and AD. It’s actually not even that close.
Rajon Rondo has tied Steve Nash for 7th all-time playoff assists.pic.twitter.com/Id63ekHF2V
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 3, 2020
The 14-year vet didn’t get into action until the second round after recovering from a broken thumb and then back tightness, but his impact can’t be overstated. Rondo gave coach Frank Vogel a second reliable option to steady the Lakers’ offense, allowing James a proper break — in years past, LeBron off the floor was death to any lead as the offense would dry up.
Rondo stays a few steps ahead 👀
(📺: ABC) pic.twitter.com/y3JhsLpVfa
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 3, 2020
In 14 playoff games this year, Rondo has put up seven or more assists in eight games. He absolutely mines the court for what his team needs at the time. He’ll start by getting Anthony Davis going, then start feeding the open spot-up shooters or call his own number. In most cases, he’s come up aces.
After a 10-assist game in Game 2, he’s hit five dimes in back-to-back games. But like James, his big-game instincts will kick in, and so will the numbers.
The pick: OVER 6.5 assists (+104)
Prop #3 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Made Threes
Analysis: We close it out with the Lakers’ most reliable 3&D player in these playoffs. Down Avery Bradley, who opted out of the bubble, and inconsistent (and sometimes brutal) play from Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has emerged as a key piece to what the Lakers are trying to do.
He’s had big assignments all playoffs, having to guard one of Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum in Round 1, James Harden or Eric Gordon in Round 2, healthy doses of Jamal Murray in the West Finals before having to chase Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro around a ton of screens in the Finals.
“Kentavious Caldwell Pope with a terrific rejection…” 🤣😂😂🤣😂😅 pic.twitter.com/GSNRxSULwm
— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) October 1, 2020
And while he’s been more than able to hold his own on that end, his shooting has blossomed on the other end. He’s shooting 38.5% from three-point range in the playoffs, making the most of the open looks from the corner while LeBron and AD bend the defense.
1:37 to play on ABC pic.twitter.com/E3QsEp077V
— NBA (@NBA) October 7, 2020
Game 4 was probably his best overall performance as a Laker, drilling a must-have fourth-quarter three in transition before a tough drive in traffic to give the Lakers breathing room. KCP finished with 15 points and went 3-for-8 from beyond the arc. He’s actually hit two or more triples in 14 of 19 games, and he’s always going to get good looks. That’s the benefit of playing in a LeBron-AD system: the defense has to give something up.
The pick: OVER 1.5 three-pointers made (-205)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.