It’s do or die tonight for the Golden State Warriors as they enter game five down 1-3 to the Los Angeles Lakers. Their chances of extending the series looks good as they are currently a -7 favorite, but their secondary scorers need to show up if they want any chance of beating the Lakers defense. In desperation mode, my prediction is that the Warriors offense finds life and clears their team total over.
LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors Prediction
If there has been one constant this series it’s that the Lakers defense have figured out how to slow down the Warriors offense. Putting an emphasis on getting the ball out of Steph Curry’s hands as soon as he gets past the half court and daring someone else to beat them over the top. A successful strategy so far as the Warriors secondary scorers in Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have yet to make an impact.
This is in large part of the Lakers running a successful perimeter defense, ranking third in the NBA by holding opposing offenses to a lowly 34.4% per TeamRankings. That number has risen to 36.2% since the start of the series, being a little more exploitable than normal due to throwing a second defender at Curry. That aspect alone makes it puzzling of how Thompson, Poole, and Wiggins have yet to make a major impact, getting more open looks than they should be accustomed to on the opposite side of the court.
Going into game five we should see a more spirited effort in freeing up Curry at the halfcourt. Potentially sending screens with either Draymond Green or Kevon Looney to also take away the Lakers’ size in the interior, allowing Curry to work his magic as a premier playmaker and either attack the rim or hit one of his shooters in stride. Curry took over in game seven against the Kings in desperation mode and I am expecting more of the same in this one to keep their series hopes alive.
LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors Betting Odds
Oddsmakers also believe in the Warriors chances of extending the series as they opened Golden State as a -5 favorite in game five. Bettors were quick to back them as well, taking the number up to as high as -7 in some shops. Sadly passing through the key number of -6, this is a pass for me as I will stick with their team total instead. This negates their lack of defense, allowing me to just zero in on their adjustments on offense.
Speaking of offense, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 226.5. Bettors have slightly leaned towards the unders favor by taking the number down to 226 as of writing. While I have not pulled the trigger just yet, I am eyeing a full game over should the total continue to lower as we near tip off. The Warriors have struggled to contain the Lakers size in the interior, giving them high quality looks at the rim.
- Under is 5-2 in the last seven matchups against each other
- Lakers are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall
- Over is 5-1 in the last six matchups in Golden State
Can Jordan Poole round back into form?
Jordan Poole Vs. Lakers defense
Once thought of as a third splash brother, Jordan Poole has been practically non-existent this series as he has gone ice cold from the field. He’s looked lost at times when driving to the rim, failing to adjust to the Lakers length with Anthony Davis manning the middle.
Poole should be an instant benefactor with Curry facing doubles, playing on the opposite side as a potential target to the first outlet pass. Should the Warriors throw screens to free Curry at the top, he can shift the defense more towards the middle and give Poole ample room for a high-quality look from the perimeter. Poole fares far better as a spot up shooter in comparison to off the dribble.
Take the Warriors team total over at no higher than 117.5 as they should work in adjustments to free Curry and give them higher quality scoring opportunities.
LA Lakers Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineups
LA Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (P), Anthony Davis (P), Mo Bamba (Q)
Golden State Warriors Injuries: Andre Iguodala (O), Patrick Baldwin Jr (Q), Ryan Rollins (O)