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Just a few short weeks ago, we gave out the Warriors to make the NBA playoffs at +100. Now they sit at -290 and need just one win to cash that ticket. The Western Conference Play-in Tournament starts with Lakers vs. Warriors, and that is the game we are going to break down.
The two teams matched up three times this season, and the Lakers won two of the three games. The first game was close. The Warriors took it by only two points. After that, the Lakers dominated. They won the next game by 26, and the following one by 31. In those games, Curry scored 26, 15, 27.
Curry has been NBA Jam Level On-Fire lately. He just had 46 points against Memphis to close out the season. He averaged 37.3 points in April and 36.8 in May. He is in the zone right now. LeBron took his annual time off and is now rested enough for a playoff run. He ended the year playing in back-to-back games and scoring 24 and 25 points. Anthony Davis appears ready to go, and now that he can be the secondary option, he should excel in his role.
Can anyone on the Lakers stop Curry? Probably not really stop him, but I do think they can contain him. He has a total of 36.5 for the game, and I don’t see this hitting at all. I’m putting multiple units on the under. Can he get to the over? Of course. In fact, if they beat the Lakers, it is likely because Curry has 40+ points. But consider this: Curry is likely to play 30ish minutes if the Lakers blow the Warriors out. I don’t think LeBron has any interest in losing this game or playing in another game after.
Perhaps the real question we should be examining is – who will stop LeBron in a one-game scenario? He knows it is important to win this game. I don’t even expect it to be close. I’m taking the Lakers -5 at home against a team they’ve handled with ease this season and one that won’t have an answer for LeBron and AD.
Along with that, I’m taking the over 219.5 points on the game. The previous three games had totals of 225, 208, and 228. The pace is likely to slow down, and the Lakers are a good defensive team, but both teams can put up points. If you prefer to stick with over 112 in the first half, that works for me. I don’t think the Lakers will struggle to score, and the Warriors should mop up in the second half after the Lakers stop trying.
Remember if the game isn’t close, the starters will be rested for the next game. That means defense is likely to disappear. To summarize – Curry under 36.5; Lakers -5; and Over 219.5.