Is LeBron James Playing? Lakers vs. Warriors Game 3 Playoff Preview, Odds & Predictions

is lebron james playing

Is LeBron James Playing? LeBron will play for the Lakers who head back to Los Angeles to host the Warriors for Game 3 of the Western Conference first-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, May 6th, 2023.

Given the blowout they encountered in Game 2, it’s surprising the Lakers are 3 point favorites, with many expecting them to bounce back after a tough loss in Game 2.

MATCH PREVIEW

The Warriors, the reigning champions, have rediscovered their competitive edge as they prepare to embark on their away games, which no longer pose the same daunting challenge as before.

After a resounding 127-100 triumph in Game 2, the Warriors have leveled the score at one game apiece in the Western Conference semifinal series against the Lakers. The upcoming Game 3, scheduled for Saturday, will now take place in the Lakers’ territory.

In the opening game, the seventh-seeded Lakers showcased their resilience, relying on their star players, Anthony Davis and LeBron, to secure a hard-fought 117-112 victory. However, it was the Warriors’ own stars who shone in Game 2. Klay Thompson lit up the court with 30 points, sinking eight 3-pointers, while Stephen Curry contributed 20 points and 12 assists.

Long-range shooting is the Warriors’ specialty, evident from their 50 percent success rate with 21 out of 42 shots from beyond the arc. This performance was a significant improvement over their 39.6 percent shooting (21-of-53) in the series opener. Remarkably, their total of 42 made 3-pointers in the first two games sets a new NBA record for a playoff series.

Reflecting on his Game 1 struggles, Thompson acknowledged that he had been more relaxed in Game 2. He expressed dissatisfaction with his inefficient shooting in the previous game, admitting to rushing some shots. However, in Game 2, he adopted a patient approach, allowing the game to come to him, which ultimately paid off.

The upcoming road game follows a regular season where the Warriors only managed to win 11 games away from their home court. However, they demonstrated their ability to succeed on the road by winning two crucial games against the Sacramento Kings in the first round, including the decisive Game 7.

Acknowledging the Lakers’ home advantage in Game 3, Curry emphasized the need for the Warriors to maintain the same mentality they displayed in Game 2. Despite anticipating an energized and rejuvenated Lakers team, Curry urged his teammates not to consider fatigue as a factor in the series.

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The Lakers aim to replicate their first-round series success against the Grizzlies by following a similar pattern. They won the series opener on the road, lost Game 2, and then returned home to secure two consecutive victories, thereby securing a commanding 3-1 series lead.

ODDS AND PREDICTIONS

The NBA playoffs is defined by superstar performances, and the fate of the Lakers heavily relies on the performances of Davis and James. While James is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, he has yet to find his rhythm against Golden State. Additionally, Davis has shown inconsistency in his recent outings.

There are concerns that James might be running low on energy, and Golden State’s decision to start JaMychal Green in Game 2 proved effective as it provided them with better floor spacing and led to a comfortable victory.

With Curry’s ability to dominate games, the Warriors have earned their fair share of respect in this matchup, and are the suggested pick. But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that LeBron won’t turn back the clock to bring this Lakers team a big win at home. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.

Spread: Lakers -3

Moneyline: Lakers -156, 76ers +132

Pick: Warriors +3

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