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Here are Jack Green’s four NBA picks to consider for Saturday night’s Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.
Miami Heat (+3)
After a strong start to the season, the Lakers have cooled off over their last 12 games. They have lost four times during that run – including twice in their last three – and were taken to overtime in three consecutive games by teams near the bottom of the standings.
The Heat have made a disappointing start to the year after losing to the Lakers in the Finals last season, but they have won five of their last eight games including Thursday’s 118-110 win over the Sacramento Kings.
With the Lakers’ star power forward Anthony Davis now out with an Achilles injury he suffered against the Denver Nuggets last Sunday, it’s worth backing the Heat to at least keep this one close.
Under 212 total points
The Lakers have the league’s best defensive rating this season despite Davis – their best defensive player – being limited or out for several games so far.
The Heat are also in the top 10 in defensive rating this year, while their offense has struggled badly, ranking 25th out of 30 teams.
LeBron James over 29.5 points
James has taken on more of an offensive role for the Lakers since Davis went down, scoring 30 points or more in each of the last two games.
The four-time MVP has averaged 28.3 points over his last seven games and averaged 19.8 against Miami in last year’s Finals.
Bam Adebayo over 17.5 points
Davis’ injury has left a hole in the Lakers’ post defense, and it’s one that Adebayo should be able to exploit on Saturday night.
The Heat’s leading scorer is averaging 29.8 points per game this season and looks likely to eclipse this mark against Los Angeles’ frontcourt combination of Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris.
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