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NBA Finals Picks: Game 5, LA Lakers vs. Miami Heat

Chances are good that the NBA 2020 season comes to a close tonight.  The LA Lakers are now up 3-1 against the Miami Heat and, although Miami has fought hard to get to where it is now, they may not have what it takes to push this NBA Finals out to seven games.

If they stumble, this could be the 17th NBA championship for the Lakers and the fifth for LeBron James.  As far as the Lakers are concerned, tonight is the final game.

Lakers Look To Nail Coffin Shut

In honor of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers designed special “Black Mamba” jerseys for the season, and wore them in Game 2.  They hadn’t planned on putting them on again until the seventh game of this series; however, anticipating that tonight is going to be the last game, they will sport the new uniforms tonight.  That’s how confident the Lakers are that they will walk away with the title at the end of the game.

If, for any reason, the series goes further, they still plan on wearing the jerseys in Game 7.  Just a little tidbit – the Lakers have never lost a game while wearing the Black Mamba jersey.

The Lakers aren’t dealing with any serious injuries, although James, Anthony Davis and Danny Green are listed as probable.  To lose those three would certainly spell disaster for the team; however, James was listed as probable for Game 3 and played, having a decent night to help the Lakers take another victory.  Even slightly hobbled, James and Davis are still formidable opponents against any team.

The Heat Need To Tighten Up

If the Heat have any chance of winning tonight, they’re going to have to resort to playing street ball.  They might as well – everything’s on the line and it’s either win or go home after tonight.  No one can deny the talent the team has; however, it hasn’t shown the same fierce domination during this series that it showed to get to the NBA Finals.

Almost all of the Heat bench is healthy and ready to play, except Goran Dragic.  He’s been out for a while, so his absence hasn’t been too detrimental to the team.  There’s still Jimmy Butler, who has had several impressive performances in the postseason, and Bam Adebayo.  Along with Tyler Herro, there is enough talent to give the Lakers a tough time as they try to end the series and take the championship tonight.

It Comes Down To This

One game stands between the Lakers taking the title or the Heat forcing the series to run another game.  With everything on the line, Miami has one last shot tonight and should be expected to deliver some awesome basketball.  However, the Lakers are the definite favorite at -334, and this NBA season could realistically come to a close with the final buzzer of Game 5.  The Over/Under sits at 216.5 (-110) and, while many don’t expect the game to be able to go that far, they’ll probably be surprised.  It is going to be close, but believing the Heat can put up 108 points, and the Lakers will respond for the win, is certainly possible.  Watch the spread, though, as the 7.5 (-106) is a little questionable.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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