- Jimmy Butler’s Game 5 heroics kept Miami alive in the NBA Finals against the Lakers
- Butler outduelled LeBron James, who scored 40 in the loss
- Read below to find out our favorite prop bets for Game 6 of the NBA Finals
How do the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat follow that up?
It’s an instant classic any hoop fan is still talking about, a stars-out performance that had Jimmy effing Buckets stare down LeBron James and Anthony Davis to come out on top, pulling to within 3-2 in the NBA Finals with a wildly crucial Game 6 on tap Sunday.
If you were with us, and you checked your ticket after your nerves settled, you’d see we nailed two of our three prop bets — which, if my math is right, was a higher percentage than Danny Green made threes in the fourth quarter.
If you haven’t yet, check out the Lakers vs Heat odds page to get you set, as well as our fearless Game 6 betting predictions.
This? This is a little icing on top, some prop bets to add even more intrigue to an incredible Finals already.
We start with the Butler: can he do it again?
Prop #1 Jimmy Butler Points
|Over 26.5 points||-116|
|Under 26.5 points||-106|
Odds from October 10. Check FanDuel and DraftKings for more prop bets.
Analysis: Has anyone had as much fun in the NBA Finals as Jimmy Butler? He’s yucking it up with teammates, grinning at the free throw line, and laughing and chatting with Anthony Davis, all while picking apart one of the top defenses in the league on the biggest stage. He’s like Charles Barkley in 1993: tons of swagger, nothing to lose, and soaking it all up.
The Lakers were outscored 15-9 in clutch-time of Game 5.
Jimmy Butler accounted for more points (11) in clutch-time than the Lakers by himself.
This was the 2nd time all season that LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 60+ points and the Lakers lost. pic.twitter.com/SeKktJ9hxZ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 10, 2020
His 35-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist and 5-steal night will go down as one of the great performances in Finals’ history, full stop. And he’s had to be nothing short of spectacular for Miami to be in this series. In their two wins, he’s averaging 37.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 12 assists on 63.9% shooting. In their three losses: 23.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 9.0 assists on 49.9% shooting.
? 35 PTS | 12 REB | 11 AST ?
Jimmy Butler and the Heat weren’t ready to go home tonight. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/KR7vxYrtlc
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 10, 2020
Butler said after Game 5 he left it all on the court, and you can excuse him for not being able to hit such epic numbers again: no player in the NBA Finals history has three 30-point triple doubles in the same series. LeBron and Butler are the only two to have done it twice.
Regardless of who wins, Butler seems likely to rise to the occasion. In the end, minus Lakers fans (and LeBron legacy fans), it’s more fun this way.
The pick: OVER 26.5 points (-116)
Prop #2 LeBron Points, Rebounds and Assists
Analysis: Despite an icy-cool postgame interview talking about trusting his teammates, living with results, and being ready or Game 6, you know LeBron James really wanted to pop champagne Friday night.
“I wish he could have it again. I wish I could make a better pass. But you just live with it.”
—LeBron James on the game-winning attempt by Danny Green pic.twitter.com/Ix4ejLcyPT
— ESPN (@espn) October 10, 2020
The 35-year-old put together another superhuman Finals performance to put on a lengthy greatest hits album: 40 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, on a dazzling 15-for-21 from the field, including 6-for-9 from three-point range. LeBron emptied the tank in a showdown with Butler, but he came up just one play short.
LeBron James (40 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST) puts together his 8th career 40-point #NBAFinals performance in Game 5.
Game 6: Sunday – 7:30pm/et, ABC pic.twitter.com/joL5Qyiy6e
— NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2020
We expect him to regroup. After all, LeBron James is the standard of performance. He’s averaging 27.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists these playoffs. Against Miami, however, they have somewhat slowed his playmaking ability. James is still making the right play, but Miami’s defense forces an extra pass when other team’s may have already conceded a James-assisted hoop on the same play.
LeBron hasn’t topped double-digit assists all series, his longest stretch since the Houston series, where he failed to put up 10 dimes in any of the five games. That being said, he’s doing everything else he can to life LA to a title. Somehow, when you add it all up, that total looks small to what LeBron is going to deliver in Game 6.
The pick: OVER 51.5 points, rebounds and assists (-113)
Prop #3 Duncan Robinson Made Threes
|Over 3.5 three-pointers made||+102|
|Under 3.5 three-pointers made||-130|
Analysis: If you’re wondering why it felt like Duncan Robinson was wide open for three-point looks, it’s because he was. But hit rewind, and you’ll see the absolute work it takes for one of the league’s most lethal marksman to get there. Robinson moves in ways that Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen did to get to their sweet spots. It’s this constant motion and mental wear for a defender that gives him a sliver of daylight before bombing away.
Miami does an extraordinary job of capitalizing on defensive mistakes, and the Lakers made quite a few of them in Game 5. Here’s a thread of plays where they capitalized on our inattention.
On this play, Danny Green turns his head and Duncan Robinson loses him on the relocation. pic.twitter.com/uZ9ndzjPlw
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) October 10, 2020
Robinson is shooting 39.6% from three in the playoffs, but before his breakout in Game 5, he had been in a shooting funk. In fact even after going 7-for-13 from deep in their last win, he’s shooting just 32.5% from three in the Finals.
One thing the Lakers like to do after a loss is tighten the screws on there breakdowns. Overall, LA was loose defensively in on-the-ball pick-and-roll defense, as well as breaking down later in the shot clock to allow clean looks from deep.
Duncan Robinson 7 TRIPLES! [email protected]_Bo20 goes for 26 PTS, 7 threes as the @MiamiHEAT win Game 5 and send the #NBAFinals to a Game 6 Sunday at 7:30pm/et on ABC! #HEATTwitter pic.twitter.com/M6fylnLo0k
— NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2020
Despite LA’s improvements and adjustments, Robinson’s release makes it unlikely that he won’t get his shot off in the biggest game of the year, and the Heat have a way of bending the court to supply their needs. Robinson doesn’t go off for 26, but he does drop enough daggers to earn you some bread.
The pick: OVER 3.5 three pointers made (+102)