NBA Playoff tips: Lakers can bounce back and win game two

Lebron James and James Harden
LeBron James and James Harden will face off in game two

LeBron James and the Lakers will be looking to bounce back quickly to level the series in game two against the Rockets, says Dave Gray...

"I'd expect the Lakers to try and take advantage of their big size advantage in this game and play a lot more aggressively."

Lakers need to get aggressive

Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers
Monday, 01:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena

The Rockets upset the odds to take one but the Lakers have been here before and will be looking to bounce back quickly to even the series.

James Harden produced some of his best to lead Houston to that game one win and he will need to put in a similar performance tonight. Many thought the Rockets small line up would suffer against the strong, athletic Lakers offence but it was quite the opposite. They forced 17 turnovers in what was a surprisingly sloppy performance from LeBron James and co but whether that will continue as LA figure out the Rockets' unusual set up is to be seen.

It was a night to forget for the Lakers on Friday. James was not at his best and while Anthony Davis had a team-high 25 points, it was the supporting cast that really needed to improve. Rajon Rondo had a poor game on his return from injury and the rest of the team offered little in support of their two big stars. I'd expect the Lakers to try and take advantage of their big size advantage in this game and play a lot more aggressively.

In round one the Lakers lost their first game and that sparked a much improved performance and we should see similar here. James is still the player that makes the team tick. A big game from him should lead to a levelled series.

Heat can complete the sweep

Milwaukee Bucks @ Miami Heat
Sunday, 20:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena

No team has ever come back from 3-0 down in a series but that is what the Bucks are going to have to do if they are going to avoid a second straight season with an early exit despite locking up the first seed.

Jimmy Butler has been excellent since joining Miami and although the Heat have plenty of talent, he is the player that really drives it all. His 30 points were part of a massive comeback in the fourth quarter that saw them outscore their opponents by 40-13 to win by 15. Bam Adebayo had 20 points but the 16 rebounds show what he is all about. The series is all but over but Miami will be looking to close it out tonight and move on to their match up with either the Celtics or Raptors.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was just one assist short of a triple double but his twisted ankle he picked up in that game puts even more doubt into the Bucks' chances of pulling off the historic comeback. Miami winning the series isn't a shock, even if the Bucks were favourites, but a potential sweep would have seemed unthinkable. The Bucks will want to get a win on the board if it is for nothing but pride. Whether they can do that against a Miami team that are now 7-0 in the playoffs is another question.

With a healthy Giannis I would be cautious to write the Bucks off for one game, but with the ankle injury he looked very laboured in game three. It is hard to believe that injury has got significantly better in two days. Back Miami to pull off a superb sweep and head to the conference finals as the hottest team in the league.

Dave Gray's Regular Season NBA 2019/20 P/L

Staked: 179
Returns: 173.35
P/L: -5.65

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