NBA Playoff Picks - Tuesday, June 1
If you only go by the numbers, Anthony Davis’ impending absence in Game 5 is not only not a big deal, but it might be a help to the defending champs.
That’s because with Davis on the court this series, the Lakers have been outscored by nine points in 138 minutes, whereas when he’s off the court, they’ve had a 13-point advantage in just 54 minutes.
Obviously, this is one of those instances where the advanced numbers don’t tell the whole story. The lion’s share of that discrepancy came in Game 1, when Davis was admittedly terrible, and the Suns outscored LA by 18 points in the 39 minutes he played.
In Games 2 and 3, however, Davis was a massive part of the reason that Los Angeles was able to take control of the series. More importantly, when they were without him following the second quarter, a winnable four-point game eventually turned into an 18-point hole early in the fourth…and that was with Davis clearly hobbled in the first half.
Now, with the much less effective Andre Drummond left to take AD’s place and LeBron still not quite looking like himself, the Suns will be back home and playing as the favored team.
They should be. LeBron is at his best when his back is against the wall, but we’re not quite there yet. LA will be after this game though.
Lakers vs. Suns Pick
The Pick: Suns -5 @ -106 (Click to bet)
Expert Lakers vs. Suns Predictions
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