NBA Playoffs Picks for Friday, May 12, 2023

NBA Friday, May 12 Playoffs Picks

The odds of winning a NBA Playoffs series when trailing three games to one are slim. However, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks kept their chances alive by winning on Wednesday and will once again attempt to stave off elimination in their respective Game 6 on Friday, May 12. He had only four points in 20 minutes in Golden State’s 121-106 victory, but Kevon Looney may have had the biggest impact on the remainder of the series. An inadvertent (wink, wink) elbow caught LA’s Anthony Davis flush on the face forcing the big man to seek medical attention in the locker room. AD’s status for Friday is unknown and his absence would leave a big hole on both ends of the floor. Including their play-in win over Minnesota the Lakers are 6-0 on their home floor this postseason with payouts in each of the past five games. With their backs against the wall the Knickerbockers fought like they hadn’t in the first four games and came away with a 112-103 payout win over Miami forcing Game 6 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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NBA Playoffs Schedule for Friday, May 12

New York at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Golden State at LA Lakers, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)

NBA Playoffs Picks for Friday, May 12, 2023

The Knicks haven’t reached the Eastern Conference final since 2000 when they beat Miami in seven games to get there. The fact that it could happen again is a fascinating story, but playing good basketball is what will get it done. The game after Julius Randle questioned if the Knicks wanted the series bad enough, he and his mates were ready to do whatever it took, according to Jalen Brunson. And the first-year New York player gained even more respect from his teammates and coaches by willing his team to victory.

Brunson not only scored 38 points, he also played the entire 48 minutes adding nine rebounds and seven assists. With the season in the balance coach Tom Thibodeau shortened his bench with Quentin Grimes also playing the entire game and at least three starters on the floor at all times. The strategy paid off on Wednesday and Thibodeau said he wouldn’t hesitate to use his backcourt the same way in Game 6.

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Only one No. 8 seed has advanced to a conference final since the format was implemented in 1984. The Heat aren’t your typical lowest seeded squad, though. Last season they earned the East’s No. 1 seed winning 53 games with many of the same core players back for another go. Jimmy Butler is the leader and when he stumbles the Heat usually do as well. Scoring at least 30 points in four of five games in the first-round upset of Milwaukee, Butler averaged nearly 38 points in that series. Jimmy Buckets had just 19 points on Wednesday despite playing the entire second half. With Butler more involved the Heat can wear down a fatigued Knicks unit to earn a victory and the series.

The Lakers have yet to lose at home this postseason going 6-0 SU that includes the play-in win over Minnesota. And I have a feeling that if they don’t win on Friday the Warriors take the series. Getting that victory, however, will be much tougher if Anthony Davis is sidelined. The good news for LA is that there was no mention of a concussion after AD took an elbow to the face in Game 5’s loss.

It would be nothing new for the Lakers if Davis doesn’t play since he’s seemingly missed more time dealing with some ailment than actually playing since LA acquired him. His height is an advantage against the undersized Warriors and LA exploited that in winning three of the first four games. He amassed 30 points and 23 rebounds in LA’s Game 1 win and tallied at least 23 points in each of the last three contests. Despite his unknown status the Lakers opened as a 2.5-point favorite and their strong play at home coupled with Golden State’s season-long road woes has me backing the home team.

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