Put the brooms away because we’ve got a series on our hand’s folks! On the back of one of the great finals performances from Jimmy Butler, the Heat shocked the Lakers in game 3 with a 115-104 victory.
We were 1 LBJ assist short from making it a nice result in the game 3 preview so let’s jump in and see if we can find a couple more winners in game 4.
NBA Finals Game 4 Preview & Tips
Los Angeles Lakers
Well if the Lakers ever needed a wake-up call, they got a huge one in game 3. There were several factors which attributed to the big loss, but the obvious was Anthony Davis finding early foul trouble and playing a much smaller part in the match.
For the first time this series, Miami could match the Lakers in the paint and in turn, the Lakers had much less second-chance points to go with their fair share of struggles on offence. They will want to look after the ball better than they did in game 3 where they turned it over a series-high 19 times.
With that being said, I don’t think Vogel and his men will be too concerned with the loss. If anything, this will switch them back into gear and we could see a big bounce back in game 4.
On the positive side, Lebron James (25pts 10reb 8ast) continued his dominance across the board and the input from key bench players Kyle Kuzma (19pts) and Markieff Morris (19pts 6reb) will give Frank Vogel confidence he can turn to his role players when needed.
The Lakers are yet to lose back-to-back matches throughout the whole playoffs and Lebron will be sure to fire up his team and make sure this doesn’t happen at this stage of the season.
Davis Over 29.5 Points
Heat supporters and NBA neutrals alike will be breathing a sigh of relief after their victory in game 3 denied the Lakers the chance of a sweep. As I mentioned in the last preview, Jimmy Butler loves the underdog tag and did literally everything he could to carry his team to victory.
Apart from the obvious impact Butler had, his teammates finally found their rhythm from the floor, shooting over 50% as a team and had 5 players in double figures. As well as this, they managed to take the physicality to the Lakers on defence. They caught out Anthony Davis a number of times and drew offensive fouls which led to him seeing much less game time.
Again, the Heat were without Adebayo and Dragic and their fitness is still in doubt for game 4. Miami will need every player on court to play their role to match it with the Lakers, like they did in game 3. The injury to Adebayo has opened the door to Kelly Olynk who has been putting up some huge numbers for the Heat and they will be hoping this can continue.
All eyes will be on Jimmy Butler however, as he pulled out just the third 40-point triple double in NBA Finals history to beat the Lakers. Whether he can maintain this remains to be seen however, he proved to the doubters that the Heat do deserve to be where they are at this point in the season.
Butler Over 24.5 Points
After the major upset in game 3, game 4 is set up to be crucial for the outcome of this series. Many would think if the Lakers can take a 3-1 lead, they may just be too clinical to run down. If the Heat however, can level it up at 2-2 they will take massive momentum into game 5 with their injured stars not too far away either.
I think the deciding factor will be if Anthony Davis. If he can avoid foul trouble and play regular minutes, the Lakers are a completely different team with him on the court with Lebron.
Whatever the case, we are in for an awesome remainder of the series and it feels right in the balance at this point in time!