NBA Playoff Props: Harden To Shine In Game 5 With Kawhi Sidelined

Without Kawhi Leonard available to suit up and play in Game 5 due to a lingering knee injury, former MVP and 10-time All-Star, James Harden, will have to step up to give the Los Angeles Clippers their best chance at taking a 3-2 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks

On the other side, Luka Doncic admitted that he has been battling an illness and a minor knee injury, so Kyrie Irving might need to shoulder more offensive responsibility in this matchup, similar to what he did in Game 4.

Check out my analysis for these two DFSPro-powered props below to see why I’m bullish on Harden and Irving in Game 5.

NBA Playoff Props for May 1

James Harden Over 22.5 Points (+120) – DraftKings

Interestingly enough, the Clippers are 2-0 without Kawhi and 0-2 with him during this series, which is the opposite of how it has been throughout the 2023-24 season.

In the two games against Dallas, in which Leonard has not been available, Harden has had huge offensive days.

In fact, Harden had 28 points in Game 1 and 33 points in Game 4 on just 17 field goal attempts; he has been a substantial offensive asset for the Clippers this season and in the playoffs, so far.

Our model suggests that Harden will be heavily featured tonight without Kawhi again, so I will be backing Harden to score 23 or more points. 

Kyrie Irving Over 25.5 Points (-115) – DraftKings

Doncic is not 100% healthy. He has been battling sickness and a knee injury that has caused him to struggle throughout this first-round series of the NBA playoffs.

In fact, Doncic has shot merely 38.6% from the field and 26.5% from behind the arc through the first four games.

As a result, Irving has averaged 28.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game on an awe-inspiring 51/49/91 shooting split; he is almost shooting 50% from the field and 3-point land and hitting more than 90% of his free throws.

Our AI-powered model projects Irving to finish with 26.2 points in Game 5, 0.6 more (+2.34%) than his season average. Irving has been dominant on the offensive end of the floor, shooting and scoring at an incredibly efficient level.

With Luka’s injury and sickness, I expect Irving to have a similar performance to Game 4, when he had a monstrous 40-point outing. 

One Last Thought

The Mavericks are three-point road favorites despite losing at home in Game 4 to LA. In that game, James Harden and Paul George combined to post 66 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds to help the Clips sneak by Dallas without Kawhi.

 But can they do it again in Game 5?

Our model forecasts the spread of this game to be 1.5 points in favor of Dallas; however, most significant sportsbooks have the line at three points due to Kawhi’s knee injury.

I have the Clippers as a slight lean since they are getting three points at home, and Luka Doncic has been battling an illness. Plus, Los Angeles has won both of its games in this series without Leonard, so it knows it can pull off a massive win at home.

However, the Clips will need to rebound much better than they did in their narrow Game 4 win if they want to take a series lead. For that reason, I will focus on the two player props listed above.

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