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Two first-round series remain in progress on Friday, and the conference semifinal round will begin Saturday in Denver, possibly before all participants have been determined. Golden State and the LA Lakers host Game 6’s tonight, where they can clinch their spot among the final eight teams.
The Warriors are 7.5-point favorites to accomplish that goal and have won three straight after trailing the Kings 2-0 to begin the series. After Harrison Barnes’ game-winning shot attempt rattled away to lose Game 4 for Sacramento, the Dubs captured an elusive road victory on Wednesday to set themselves up to advance with a win on their home court.
The Lakers are favored by 4.5 points in their quest to advance beyond the first round for only the second time in the last ten seasons. However, Memphis’ Ja Morant and Desmond Bane propelled their team to the win while scoring 30+ points each, and the Grizzlies out-shot the Lakers from the floor, beyond the arc, and at the stripe to win by 17 at home in Game 5.
Our Wednesday props swept the board, going 3-0 without much of a sweat, thanks to great efforts from RJ Barrett, Austin Reaves, and Giannis. On the heels of that performance, our best bet card for Friday’s NBA Playoff schedule is ready to roll.
Thompson’s attempted 10+ threes in four of five games during this first-round matchup, and two-thirds of his shots have come from beyond the arc.
The last time Thompson’s long-range shooting volume looked like this in the postseason was in 2016, during first and second-round matchups with Portland and Houston.
In addition to having a high floor on his three-point volume, he’s shooting 40.7% from deep in these five games against Sacramento. We wouldn’t be surprised if this closeout opportunity turned into a barrage from Thompson to seal the Kings’ fate.
Davis has had two monster performances on the boards in LA’s last three games, hauling in 19 and 17 rebounds in games where the Lakers were 1-1 on the scoreboard.
He and LeBron James are averaging 12+ rebounds per game in this series, with James topping out at 20 boards in Game 4. Both players are also dealing with nagging injuries that shouldn’t hold them out of Game 6 but are worth noting.
It’s possible that Davis continues this run and grabs another 15+ rebounds in Friday’s home matchup, but we’ll pay to see it and play the under on his rebounding total at this number.
Wednesday’s 33 points and 10 rebounds marked Bane’s first career playoff double-double and just the second of his career through three seasons as a pro. It was also the second time in his career that he’s grabbed double-digit rebounds in a game, the other occurring during the regular season this year.
Bane’s back-to-back games with 30+ points came on the strength of 50 field goal attempts and more than 88 minutes of game-time, both numbers that are difficult to maintain for a sustained period.
He’s proven he can surpass this total with just his scoring, but can he summon that same level of performance for a third straight playoff game while on the road? We’re not convinced and will fade him to do so against the Lakers on Friday.