Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers Game 1 Pick – NBA Finals September 30

The NBA Finals are finally here as the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers will meet up in a best of seven series. Both of these teams have had strong postseason runs and will look to continue their success as they try and earn a big win in Game 1. This game will tip off at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on Wednesday night.

The Heat finished the regular season with a record of 44-29, which had them in fifth place of the Eastern Conference. Miami went through the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics to reach the Conference Final. The Heat have a record of 12-3 throughout the first three rounds. Now Miami will look to start out the NBA Finals off right with a big win.

Los Angeles earned a record of 52-19 throughout the regular season. The Lakers finished in first place of the Western Conference. Los Angeles had to knock off the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets to reach the Finals. The Lakers have also gone 12-3 throughout the playoffs and will look to earn a pivotal Game 1 win on Wednesday night.

The Heat and the Lakers have both put up magical runs throughout this postseason. Both teams have dominated their opponents and will look to finish off this season with an NBA Championship. This game 1 will be pivotal as both teams look for a big series lead. I expect both teams to feel each other out early but finish out quick in this one.

Previous Matchups

The Heat and the Lakers met up twice throughout the regular season. The first game was on November 8 in Los Angeles. Jimmy Butler dropped 22 points, while Goran Dragic finished with 19 points off the bench. Anthony Davis scored 26 points and LeBron James finished with 25 points. The Lakers were able to win a defensive battle 95-80.

The second game of the season series was on December 13 in Miami. Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, while Derrick Jones Jr. finished with 17 points. It was still not enough for the Heat though. Anthony Davis scored 33 points and 10 rebounds, while LeBron James finished with 28 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds. The Lakers finished with a 113-110 win to sweep the season series.

These two teams met up twice throughout the regular season, which led to the Lakers winning both games. The first game was a low scoring game, while they picked it up in the second game. Los Angeles was the better team overall, but the Heat have been hot as of late. The Lakers cannot come in complacent if they want to earn a win in Game 1.

Field Goal Shooting

The Heat have struggled at times shooting from the field throughout this season. Miami has been able to make 45.9 percent of their shots from the field. The Heat have also made 35.7 percent of their shots from behind the arc. In the last series, the Heat shot 45.6 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from deep against the Celtics tight defense.

Los Angeles has been the best team shooting from the field in the postseason. The Lakers have made around 49.8 percent of their shots from the field. Los Angeles has not been quite as good from behind the arc though. The Lakers have shot 35.5 percent from deep. Against the Nuggets in the Conference Finals, Los Angeles made 50.2 percent of their shots from the field and 34.5 percent of their shots from behind the arc.

The Lakers are the better team when it comes to shooting from the field in this series. Miami is the better team shooting from behind the arc though. The Heat struggled a bit against the Celtics defense in the Conference Finals. Miami will look to find their stroke again in Game 1. The Heat will also have to play strong defense inside the arc. If the Lakers dominate in close, it could make this series short.

Top Performers

Goran Dragic has had a great postseason, averaging 21 points per game. Jimmy Butler is averaging 20.5 points per game as well. Bam Adebayo has averaged 18.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, while Tyler Herro is averaging 16.5 points per game off the bench. Jae Crowder is averaging 12.5 points per game. Duncan Robinson rounds out the lineup, averaging 11.5 points per game.

Anthony Davis has had a great postseason run with LeBron James to lead the Lakers to the Finals. Davis is averaging 29 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. James has averaged 26.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9 assists per game. Kyle Kuzma is averaging 10.5 points per game off the bench. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has averaged 10 points per game to help Los Angeles as well.

The Lakers have seen a great postseason run from Davis and James, while the Heat have had more of a spread of scoring. If Miami can limit Los Angeles’ big two in terms of scoring, it will give their depth a chance to take over. The Heat will also need Tyler Herro to win the battle against Kyle Kuzma off the bench. The Lakers will look to push the pace with their starters against Miami though.

Pick Overview

These two teams have put up great postseason performances, but now it comes down to the NBA Finals. I believe that the Lakers will get this series started with a big win in Game 1 of the series. Los Angeles has been strong in this playoff run and I think James and Davis will come out hot. James has been here before and I believe he will have his team ready to come out strong.

BetOnline has Los Angeles listed as a -5 against the spread for Game 1 of this series. This gives a solid edge to the Lakers coming into this matchup. I believe that this line is correct as Los Angeles has more experience in this position. I believe that the Lakers will be able to get off to a better start, which will make it very difficult for the Heat to play from behind.

Los Angeles Lakers -5
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.