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NBA Player Prop Picks (5/12/23)
Series underdogs take the center stage for Friday night’s dual game slate as both the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers are in a prime position to close out their series in game six on their respective home courts. The Heat come in as a -6 favorite over the New York Knicks while the Lakers are -3 against the Golden State Warriors. With the spotlights shining brighter than ever, it’s time for their star players to step up in a big way. But will they?
Check out our favorite player props from this dynamite slate below, including our in-depth analysis and reasoning for our picks!
Julius Randle u23.5 Points (-110)
Speaking of stars stepping up in an effort to keep their series hopes alive, I am pessimistic on their chances of doing so. Especially from Julius Randle as I am fading him on his point total as he has taken a back seat to Jalen Brunson. Not only has he conceded as the Knicks go-to option, but they have actually played better when he is off the court with Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson playing the four and five.
While the Heat’s defensive scheme of getting the ball out of Brunson’s hands has yet to find any sort of consistency, they have done a masterful job in limiting Randle’s scoring in the interior. Randle has since ticked back up in the scoring department in their last winning effort, giving me conviction that the Heat will go back to suffocating the interior.
This has been done by their big man Bam Adebayo who has shut down Randle as a one-on-one defender. Routinely in contention for Defensive Player of the Year, Adebayo’s defensive capabilities allow the Heat to spread out the court with them full well knowing he serves as a viable option as a lone defender. He forces Randle to stretch out, taking smother low quality looks in the mid-range.
Anthony Davis u24.5 Points (-120)
Keeping the theme of fading the big men going, I am fading Anthony Davis on his point prop as well. This may not even be an active bet by tip-off as his availability is shrouded in mystery after sustaining an injury to the head in his last game out. An injury that forced him to get wheel chaired off the court and into the locker room, most likely resembling a concussion.
The Lakers did a good job of avoiding concussion protocol by reporting that Davis was moving all right on his own post game, but I am skeptical. Kevon Looney’s accidental elbow to the head would be enough to put me in the hospital, let alone give someone a concussion. Davis looked lost on the sideline and was unable to leave on his own accord.
Should he be available to give it a go, I doubt the Lakers will utilize him at his usual rate. Avoiding any more potential damage as the league’s most injury prone big man and opting into the offense revolving through LeBron’s interior presence instead. If I’m wrong and Anthony Davis is good to go, then I can find peace knowing I never pursued a medical degree.
Draymond Green o7.5 Rebounds (-125)
When Draymond Green is active and acting the glass, that’s when the Warriors are at their best. He plays an integral role for their offense, playing as a facilitator at various spots in the court in an effort to hit their shooters in stride and keeping possessions alive with his tenacity on the glass.
With Anthony Davis potentially playing more passive than usual, this opens up the window for Draymond to negate the size advantage by playing more physically in the paint. This is where Green thrives the most, playing at an unmatched pace while simultaneously avoiding foul trouble with his rough style of play.
The Warriors have failed to limit the Lakers interior scoring at a successful rate, but they can negate their second chance opportunities to help give their stagnant offense some life on the other end by limiting the Lakers scoring pace. I already believe the Warriors win tonight and take this to a game seven and Draymond plays a major role in that happening.