Matt Moore’s bets for Lakers vs Warriors Game 3 (May 6)

The Los Angeles Lakers follow a pretty good formula to beat the Golden State Warriors.

They stole Game 1 with a good game plan and caught the tired Warriors after a seven-game streak with the Kings.

They tried a few things (which didn’t work) while forcing the Warriors to make early adjustments that they can counter going home, while stopping in Game 2 and letting this one go.

Now they’re regrouping for back-to-back home games at Arena. Let’s dive into the big takeaways of this series so far and my bets for Warriors vs Lakers Game 3.

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers

Spread: Lakers -3 | Total: 228

LeBron James is just a guy

LeBron James is averaging 22-11-5 in the playoffs, nowhere near a line of role player stats, but no star numbers either. He is averaging 23-9-4 against the Warriors in two games.

He just doesn’t feel like James is James on this show. He didn’t feel like a dominant force. He hit a couple 3s in the first quarter of Game 2. He’s had outrageous blocks before.

But if James won’t be the best player in any game in this series, the Lakers’ chances drastically diminish. Is game 3 that game? Can he beat Stephen Curry in a duel in a match? Because if in every game Curry is better than James, you’re not just relying on Anthony Davis’ inconsistency, you’re bringing your margin of error way closer to zero.

Age (and injuries) rob you of your consistency, not your peak. If James has a Game 3 monster, he can rock not just the game, but the series.

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Roadside Assistance

We have some weird tendencies to sort here with the Warriors.

The Warriors have won one road game in 28 straight playoff games, an absolutely ridiculous and completely stupid stat.

Additionally, the Warrior is 37-22 (63%) and 34-25 (58%) in the road playoffs after the first two games. (They are 1-4 in such games though despite it being a 1-1 series heading into Game 3.)

However, the Warriors were also the league’s worst road team this season, the worst road team as a defending champion in NBA history, and lost the first two in Sacramento (the first time in the league). Kerr era that they lost 0-2). They rallied and won two of the last three in Sacramento.

But are they on the misfortunes of the road?

Can they silence a noisy Lakers crowd (well, at least in the upper bowl)? By the way, the Warriors are 1-3 SU and ATS at the Crypt since the start of last season when they returned to contender status.

Anthony Davis’ Zigzag

Social media is full of posts about Davis’ performances zigzagging every other game. If you want a different perspective on his performance, check out his shot charts:

You’ll notice he had two shots in the restricted area in Game 1 and one shot in Game 2. But in Game 1, he hit his jumpers short. In the second, he missed those.

That’s pretty much what it’s all about. Much like Kevin Durant and other great scorers, his game isn’t going to adapt too much. If he faces a small frontcourt, he can intimidate, he will score lobs and drives. Otherwise, he’ll either hit his sweaters or he won’t. It’s makeup, basically.

An interesting adjustment Steve Kerr made, which was due in part to Kevon Looney’s illness keeping him at 11 minutes, was only playing a big one. If Davis takes on Draymond Green, who is as talented as Green as a defender, he needs to win this game and not settle. Forcing the problem can not only get Green in trouble, but effectively break the Warriors defensive game plan.

Does Davis rise to this challenge? Or does it just take more riders? Does he just make them?

These are questions you need to answer regarding Game 3, and I don’t have a good answer for you, because Davis is as talented as he is inconsistent. He won’t attack the game in the right way, I trust that. It may not matter.

Draymond Green’s Assault

Green was nervous in Game 1 and the Warriors were terrified of going inside against Davis. In Game 2, they performed actions to make him cover more ground or get him higher and in doing so paved the way.

Green was aggressive, dunking and playing hard. The Warriors spacing the ground and attacking to counter knocked the Lakers out of their bullying ball paint wrap. It also helped Klay Thompson hit shots.

But green is key here. In Game 1, he was provisional, a non-factor. Green doesn’t need to have a great scoring game. He has to keep them honest and do all the other things he does.

Paris Warriors vs. Lakers

Curry under 7.5 points in the first quarter (-106): Curry has been oddly passive on the first handful of possessions every game. He topped that in Game 1, but only had five in Game 2.

Part of that was the cover the Lakers (inexplicably) threw at Curry, which allowed him to become a playmaker. But even with an increased amount of pick-and-rolls, Curry only really got into it. things until later.

I expect the same here.

Less than 228: I kind of escaped this one with a weird late game garbage time drought in game 2. I’m going to keep playing it. Both of these half-court offenses are not good. The Warriors shook things up with an explosive game from Thompson and the Lakers largely caved. At home, it seems likely the Lakers will be looking to slow down the Warriors.

Maybe I’m wrong and both of these teams are super efficient monsters who haven’t watched this all year. But I’ll take a chance on one that will be short and lousy in a game with much better defensive ability than the offensive ceiling.

I don’t want either one. I’m leaning towards the Warriors moneyline +130. I think the Warriors win this series, but I’m not sure they get this game.

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