The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their first loss in the Black Mamba City Edition uniforms in heartbreaking fashion against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Regardless, they still have a chance to redeem themselves by securing the 17th championship should they emerge victorious in Game 6.
Although the Heat was already facing elimination, the Lakers’ attempt to win a closeout game in the Mamba jerseys only added more fuel to the fire. Their statement victory made it clear that this was never going to be a cakewalk for the Lakers and they now have an opportunity to truly swing the momentum of the series in their favor.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James continue to do all they can to carry the load for Los Angeles with their efforts on both ends of the floor. This was extremely evident in Game 5 when they accounted for over 60% of the team’s points and rebounds as well as nearly half of the assists.
The duo is averaging a combined 56.4 points, 21.2 rebounds, and 11.5 assists per game to go with 2.6 blocks and 2.6 steals on defense.
Jimmy Butler is in the midst of a remarkable Finals performance that has him nearly averaging a triple-double with 29.0 points, 10.2 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game. He has shown that he is more than willing to play nearly every second after logging in an average of 45 minutes per game over the last four matchups.
Of course, Butler has gotten plenty of help from his supporting cast up to this point as the return of Bam Adebayo from injury gave Miami the spark they needed down low. Meanwhile, the major shooting difference between each team’s backcourt has paid huge dividends thanks to Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro.
Despite managing to extend the series, Goran Dragic will likely remain sidelined due to a torn plantar fascia the rest of the way following his attempts to return in Game 4.
— Stadium (@Stadium) October 11, 2020
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has put the onus on himself to serve as the third option behind James and Davis on offense by reaching double-digits scoring in four out of five games this series. While his heroics have helped close the gap, the Lakers are going to need their rotation to collectively step up if they hope to avoid a Game 7.
Having missed a potentially game-winning 3-pointer in the previous contest, Danny Green is eager for his own shot at redemption. Meanwhile, the Lakers reportedly will start Alex Caruso in place of Dwight Howard and slide Davis to the center position.
Lakers (3-2) vs. Heat (2-3)
4:30 p.m. PT, Oct. 11, 2020
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Orlando, Florida
Radio: 710 AM ESPN L.A.
Odds: Lakers -5.5
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Alex Caruso
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Danny Green
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris
Projected Heat Starting Lineup:
PG: Duncan Robinson
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Bam Adebayo
Key Reserves: Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn, Solomon Hill
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