Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Predictions: NBA Playoff Picks
There is just no way the Denver Nuggets can repeat such an amazing feat of coming back to win a series, down 3-1. Not for the third time in a row! Especially not against a team that’s looked pretty dominant even in a tight win earlier in the season. We dive into what should be the final game of the WCF and the Denver Nuggets’ season.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets
BET: Lakers -5.5 @ -102
The Lakers can end this thing tonight and rest up for whoever they play in the NBA Finals. That alone is enough motivation to close this thing out. There’s also the matter of Anthony Davis absolutely dominating this series, something the Nuggets have yet to truly solve. Add a motivated and involved LeBron James, and you have a desperate night for Denver. Nikola Jokic – more on him later – was brutal in game 4, and they simply can’t survive another night if the big man isn’t performing. The Nuggets seem to play LA close, especially down the wire, so buying the half point might simply be the difference between winning and pushing the number. It’s a great return for the extra hook.
BET: Over 216 @ +102
Expect a high scoring affair tonight as Denver throws everything they possibly can at the Lakers. Even if the Nuggets hang around, or build a lead, it’s going to be as a result of an increased pace. Denver was able to put up 108 last time out despite barely getting action from their big man in Jokic. While Jamal Murray will continue to pick up slack, don’t expect it to be a one man show. Meanwhile the Lakers dominated the boards and should continue to get a lot of second-chance shots. Offensive rebounds are going to be huge in this total going over, as are the second units not slowing down. The best part about this game tonight is how motivated both teams truly are. Denver has been here before, and probably won’t have any extra sweat to it, calmer than most teams down big in a series. The Lakers don’t know their Finals opponent but need rest in preparation.
Nikola Jokic Over 22.5 Points @ -118
The shutting down of Jokic in game 4 won’t carry over to tonight’s game, it simply can’t. He’s been a star in the playoffs and should bounce back with a big night against the Lakers front. While AD has been dominant, Jokic has still been able to score and move the ball. Expect that to factor back into the equation tonight, especially if you see a close game. If you like the Nuggets to win, or simply keep things close throughout, then it’s not happening without a big night from Jokic. He should be in the high 20’s for this game, taking advantage of the increased attention Murray gets. The 16 points Jokic mustered up should be enough motivation for everyone on Denver – including the big man himself – to be immediately more involved in the game plan. I would expect him to come out firing and have a great start to the first half. Look for him to hit the halfway point of the total midway through the second quarter. Either you slice it, the Nuggets are on life support and the only person outside of Murray who can do anything about it is Jokic.