Game 5 of the NBA Finals: That’s why Los Angeles is favored over Miami

In the night of 7 October, Game 4 between Miami and Los Angeles went live. Lakers won taking a 1-3 series lead and earning the first match-point of the Finals. Los Angeles Lakers won thanks to Anthony Davis’ outstanding performance on defense, registering 9 rebounds, 22 points (2-4 3pt) and 4 assists; and LeBron James’ potent offense, scoring 28 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds, near triple-double. Heat gave the impression of just wanting to stay in the game, encouraged by their spiritual leader Jimmy Butler (22 points) and rookie Tyler Herro, an increasingly essential piece of coach Spoeltra’s irreplaceable quintet who scored 21 points (of which 42.8% from behind the three-point arch), thus confirming its place as one of the league’s best shooters with an average of 36.6% on threes in 2019-20 season. The absence of Miami Heat’s first team playmaker – the 34-year-old Slovenian player Goran Dragic that had to stop due to a sprained ankle – made all the difference between the teams. Heat replaced him with the undrafted Kendrick Nunn who is not as confidence and such an asset as the Slovenian Dragon, Euro Basket 2016 champion and fellow countryman of Luka Doncic. Larry O’Brien trophy seems to favour the Californian coast rather than Florida. There are numerous signs supporting this assumption, one of them being Dragic’s injury but also Lakers’ strong defense led by Davis and Alex Caruso, more and more vital to coach Frank Vogel’s game. Having LeBron James on team is always a plus if you want to win the championship, as well as being able to afford a successful expert like Rajon Rondo, never too flashy when it comes to points but sensational with details like defensive savvy, impossible passes and the ability to feel the moment, “he feels the heat of the moment” as they would say. Miam Heat’s only key is not to fall apart. They should rely on Butler, Herro and Duncan Robinson on offense, and leave themselves in the hands of Andrè Iguodala and Bam Adebayo for the defense, since they were able to stop Jason Tatum’s counteroffensives in the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston Celtics (Bam Adebayo’s block was designated as the best one of the last 10 years by the New York Times). Last but not least, one extraordinary statistic: Lakers never lost in season (56-0) when they are up at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

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