Game one of this exciting Western Conference series was everything fans of the NBA were hoping for, and tonight we get game two, as Golden State will look to even the series before heading to LA. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
There is no denying that Golden State is a live-by-the-three-die-by-the-three type of team; they have practically changed how people view and play basketball over the past few years. However, with that being said, they currently have an interesting trend going this postseason that if they outscore or tie their opponent in points in the paint, they win the game, and if not, they’ve lost. In game one of the series, they finished with just 28 points in the paint, while LA had 54.
I am not saying that the Warriors should abandon the three ball as they still shot 40% from deep on 53 attempts while LA shot 24% on 25 attempts, but a slight adjustment might need to be made. This postseason, the Lakers are holding opponents to a 32.7% three-point percentage which is third amongst active playoff teams, and interestingly enough, Golden State is first in that category. The difference being LA doesn’t need to rely on Jordan Poole 30 footers late in the game.
Again this is not me saying Golden State shouldn’t let Steph Curry and Klay Thompson do what they need to do, but 28 points in the paint for an entire game won’t get the job done a majority of the time. In the two games LA lost to Memphis, they were outscored or tied in points in the paint at the end of the game, so there is a bit of proven success there.
We’ve seen Golden State adjust in this way, just last series. In game five, Steph Curry finished the game with 31 points despite going 2-10 from three, while Golden State as a whole in that game shot 29% from deep, but they had 60 points in the paint and won the game 123-116.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Kevon Looney to go over his points + assists total of 11.5, currently priced at (+100). The big man has been a big story this postseason for his rebounding, but he has contributed to the Warriors’ success in other ways, like distributing. Looney had five assists and ten points in game one, which means he’s gone over tonight’s total in five of the eight playoff games he's been in so far.
Golden State finished with 30 assists in game one, and they should be able to continue their strong ball movement tonight since LA is last among active playoff teams in assists allowed per game. Looney has plenty of shooters to kick it out to, and his assists numbers have increased since the postseason started going from 2.69 per game across the whole season to 4.3 per game in the playoffs.
Looney has also finished in double figures in two straight games, and with his rebounding dominance, there is no reason why he can’t continue to score like this. When you’re pulling down 23 rebounds in a game, there is plenty of chances for putbacks, so I think he is in a good spot to go over this total for the sixth time this postseason.
Kevon Looney Over 11.5 Points+Assists (+100)