The NBA Finals move forward tonight with Game 2, and the Miami Heat hope to be able to step up and do better than they did in Game 1. The Los Angeles Lakers took definitive control of that game, refusing to allow the Heat to grab an opening.
It didn’t help that Miami lost several players to injury, and this will definitely impact how the team performs tonight. Still, it’s too early to start thinking the Lakers are going to sweep.
The Heat Look To Overcome Adversity
When the Heat lost Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo in Game 1, it seemed like any chance of the team being able to recover and give the Lakers a run for their money was gone. However, there’s one thing that cannot be ignored. Miami has three NBA championships in the trophy case and, on the road to each of those victories, they lost Game 1 of the Finals series.
What this NBA Bubble has shown is that anything is possible, right up to the very last bucket, and Miami isn’t ready to give up.
Throughout the second half of the season, and the postseason, Miami showed more consistency than virtually any other team. That paid off big time for the team, allowing it to get to where it is now.
Tyler Herro is now going to have to step up his game and bring back some of the magic he gave in the Eastern Conference finals, especially with Dragic and Adebayo possibly having to sit out tonight. If he and Jimmy Butler can find their groove, the Heat will be back in full force against a strong Lakers defense.
Butler, who also suffered an injury in Game 1, appears to be well enough to play. Rookie Kendrick Nunn will probably make his postseason debut for the Heat, filling the hole left by Dragic, and it’s going to be his time to shine. Everyone that steps on the court, though, is going to have to play tighter defense and work on their traps to keep the Lakers out on the perimeter, where they are typically weaker – Game 1 was an exception.
The Lakers Are Ready
For many, the name LeBron James is enough to make basketball players cower. King James is on a mission to pick up another NBA title (and possibly show why he should have been selected league MVP) and he’s going old-school to do so. However, in Game 1, it wasn’t James that the Heat had to overcome. He put up 25 points, but the bigger threat turned out to be Anthony Davis, who ended the night with 34 points.
The Lakers haven’t always been consistent when shooting from beyond the paint. That, however, wasn’t the case in the first game of this series, with the Lakers pocketing 39.5% of their 3-pointers – 64.7% in the first half. Still, knowing that this was the exception, not the rule, could indicate that LA won’t be able to repeat the same feat again tonight.
It’s Not Over Yet
There have already been a number of series to go to six or seven games this year, and this one shouldn’t be any different. However, the Lakers are going to get off to a good start playing against a weakened Miami team. The Lakers are getting -500 on Unibet, to +390 for the Heat, and shouldn’t have too much difficulty tonight because of the Heat injuries.
Game 1 only put up 214 points in the 116-98 finish, missing the 217 expected, and the Over/Under for tonight is at 216.5, with the Lakers getting -9.5 on the spread. This game shouldn’t be able to reach even 214 with so much Heat strength out, but will most likely come close. The Lakers, however, can cover the spread.