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NBA Player Prop Picks (5/2/23)
For the first time in NBA history, one of every seed (one through eight) has advanced to the Conference Semi-Final round; it has been chaos, to say the least. The most recent surprise was the Philadelphia 76ers grabbing a key road win in Game 1 against the Celtics without Joel Embiid. Anything can and will happen in this year’s postseason.
On Tuesday night, the Miami Heat will try to win both of their first two games in New York, while the Lakers and Warriors will duke it out in Game 1 to set the tone for the rest of the series. Take a look at our favorite player props for these games, along with our analysis, below!
LeBron James u26.5 Points (-115)
The Los Angeles Lakers may have won their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies with relative ease, but it had a lot more to do with LeBron’s supporting cast than LeBron himself, which is undoubtedly the first time anyone can say that.
LeBron only eclipsed this line in one of the six games despite having a fairly easy matchup against a distracted Dillon Brooks and an out-of-position Xavier Tillman. As a matter of fact, the Grizzlies were able to hold LeBron to 22.2 points per game on just 19.5% shooting from behind the arc.
The Warriors have terrific game-planning due to head coach Steve Kerr and the rest of their staff (think sagging off Westbrook earlier in the season.) Further, their jobs are a lot easier, considering they can roll out a combination of Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green on LeBron.
Wiggins is a much-improved wing defender who utilizes his terrific athleticism vertically and laterally to challenge opponents to hit shots over him. Attacking Wiggins did not work well for the Kings, as he averaged nearly three “stocks” in the Warriors’ first-round series.
On the other hand, Green is a much more physical defender who uses his strength to overpower offensive players. Green also won a Defensive Player of the Year award in the 2016-17 season.
LeBron is in a shooting slump, and Kerr and the Warriors are certainly bold enough to sag off of him and force him to shoot from behind the arc; if he doesn’t hit those shots, it is difficult to see him getting to 27 points, especially with Wiggins and Draymond rotating on him throughout the game.
Gabe Vincent o13.5 Points (-120)
Even with Jimmy Butler commanding significant volume in some of his heroic outings during this postseason, Gabe Vincent has found a way to step up and be effective. Vincent has looked like a legitimate No. 2 option behind Butler in these past two games, in particular.
Vincent reached double-digit scoring in four of the five games against Milwaukee, with the last matchup of that series being his breakout game; he scored 22 points on 9-23 shooting, which is not extremely efficient, but does prove Miami’s confidence in him.
Then, in Game 1 against the New York Knicks, Vincent had another big performance, posting 20 points on 5-12 from deep. Miami desperately needs his shooting if it is going to continue to win in the postseason. Additionally, Vincent’s matchup against the Knicks is also particularly favorable in Game 2, as Jalen Brunson is listed as questionable and won’t be at 100% even if he does play.
Now, with Jimmy Butler potentially either not playing or playing on a sprained ankle, Vincent will have to step up again offensively. Vincent’s increase in minutes is extremely promising, too, as he has hit this prop in six of his past seven games when playing at least 33 minutes. With Tyler Herro out and Jimmy Butler not at 100%, he should be close to that number once again.