NBA Playoffs: Mims breaks down Nuggets vs Lakers in the Western Conference Finals with odds, props, and picks
The Lakers are favored in the finals against Nuggets. The series line is Los Angeles -600 while the Nuggets are +450. The Lakers won the regular season 3-1. The Nuggets won both of their series against the Jazz and Clippers after being down 3-1 in both series. They are the 1st team to ever do that in the same season. The Lakers beat the Blazers and Rockets 4-1 in their previous series.
The Lakers are well rested and have not played in 6 days. L.A. will go with 10 players. Rajon Rando is questionable for game one with back spasms. The Nuggets will go 9 deep with the starters getting heavy minutes.
Key Match Up: The match up that most fans will be watching is Anthony Davis vs. Nikola Jokic. Davis is averaging a double - double by scoring 27.6 and getting 10.9 rebounds. Jokic is the best big man in the league in achieving triple doubles. Slight edge to Jokic.
Props and Totals: LeBron James is averaging 25.6 points per game. If the Lakers are going to win, he and AD must have monster games that exceed that total. Jamal Murray is scoring over 27 a game. I always want a player that is going to get multiple shots and at least 32 minutes of game time. Each of the players I've mentioned fall into that category. Look for Gary Harris going over 10 points a game. Jokic should get more than 5 assists a game in this series.
Numbers: The Lakers are shooting 72.7% from the foul line and 35.9% from 3-point range. The Nuggets are shooting 81.3% from the free throw line and 39% from beyond the arc. The Lakers turn the ball over 16 times a game while the Nuggets average 13 per game.
Prediction: Denver cannot be taken lightly. Denver wins my key numbers in every category. The Nuggets have no answer for the King in crunch time. Lebron will prevail! Lakers in 6.
Game One Pick: Nuggets + 7 and Total 211. I am leaning over and taking the Nuggets in Game One. Lakers have lost the opener in each of the previous series.
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