The second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs is officially off and running, with some series potentially ending in the next few days. Organizations are now a step closer to taking home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but there is still a long way to go. With the Golden State Warriors set to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday in San Francisco, it is time for some Warriors Game 5 bold predictions.
Golden State had many ups and downs in the 2022-23 regular season. After winning the 2022 NBA Finals, the team lost multiple important rotation players and had nine fewer wins than in its championship campaign. Still, with a 44-38 record, the Dubs managed to secure the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
On the other side of the series, Los Angeles went 43-39 in the regular season, finishing as the No. 7 seed in the West. The Lakers ended up defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 in overtime in the Play-In Tournament to officially lock down a spot in the playoffs.
The Lakers took Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals with a 117-112 win in San Francisco. The Warriors then bounced back with a 127-100 blowout victory. Los Angeles would take Game 3 with a 127-97 win at home. Most recently, the Lakers opened a 3-1 lead following a 104-101 victory on Monday.
Now back at the Chase Center, the Warriors will try to avoid elimination. With all this in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
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3. Golden State holds LeBron James and Anthony Davis to at most 20 rebounds combined
There is no secret that Los Angeles’ success heavily depends on its stars. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis are having their moments this postseason and are crucial pieces for the Lakers’ resurgence this season.
In the playoffs, James is averaging 22.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists plus 1.3 blocks per game. He is shooting 47% from the field, 22.9% from beyond the arc, and 75% from the free-throw line.
Davis is putting up 21.4 points, 14 boards and 2.6 assists with 3.7 blocks and 1.5 steals. He is making 52.6% of his field goals and 88.7% of his free throws.
James already had five double-doubles this postseason, including a 22-point, 20-rebound performance in the first round. Davis has recorded double-doubles in all but two games in this year’s playoffs, even surpassing the 20-rebound mark in Game 1 against the Warriors.
If Golden State wants to have a chance on Wednesday, it starts by containing both James and Davis near the basket. Whether is giving Kevon Looney more minutes or changing matchups, the Warriors should think about on to approach the situation. The bold prediction is that the duo will end up with at most 20 rebounds combined in Game 5.
2. Stephen Curry goes off with 40+ points and 5+ 3 pointers
As for the Warriors, they will need everything they can get from Stephen Curry. The guard is coming off a big first-round series versus the Sacramento Kings and also had big games against the Lakers.
In the postseason, Curry is averaging 30.6 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 47.1% from the field, 37.9% from beyond the arc, and 82.7% from the free-throw line.
Despite the loss in Game 5, Curry ended up having a triple-double with 31 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. This was just the third time in his career that he recorded a triple-double in the playoffs.
In the previous round, the two-time MVP ended up breaking a record for most points in a Game 7 in NBA history when he scored 50 points to clinch the series versus Sacramento.
1. Game is decided in the final minute
At the end of the day, Golden State’s season is on the line on Wednesday. After winning it all in 2022, the team could be eliminated by its longtime rival James at the Chase Center.
According to FanDuel, the Warriors are the favorites to win this next contest. Currently, the spread is -6.5.
One thing that could help Golden State is its home-court advantage. In the regular season, the Warriors went 33-8 in San Francisco, one of the best records in the league. On the other hand, they were just 11-30 on the road, one of the worst in the NBA.
All things considered, the bold prediction is that Game 5 will be another thriller. It should be full of back-and-forth moments with the lead changing multiple times. In the end, just like in Games 1 and 4, it will come down to the final minute, perhaps even the final possession.
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