The 2020 NBA Finals are underway as the Los Angeles Lakers have taken a 2-0 series lead over the Miami Heat. The Lakers are two wins away from bringing home a NBA Championship to Los Angeles for the first time in 10 years.
The Lakers got off to an impressive start in the first game of the Finals, handing Miami Heat a 116-98 loss on Wednesday. Despite what the final score suggests, the Lakers completely dominated the game and took a 1-0 series lead.
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/lebron-james-of-the-los-angeles-lakers-and-jimmy-butler-of-news-photo/1228823357?adppopup=trueMiami built up a 23-10 lead in the first quarter, but soon after that never led again. The Lakers went on a scoring spree and led by as many as 32 points in the victory.
Not only did the Heat lose the game they also lost two of their starters to injury, guard Goran Dragic and all-star forward Bam Adebayo.
Adebayo suffered from mobility issues in his shoulder and neck area. Dragic suffered a plantar tear in his left foot. All star forward Jimmy Butler also rolled his ankle just before halftime but finished the game.
The Heat are hopeful both Dragic and Adebayo can return before the series ends.
As a team, the Lakers shot 15-38 (39.5%) on 3-pointers in game one compared to their postseason average of 11.6 made 3’s per game.
Los Angeles was led by all-star forwards Anthony Davis and Lebron James who combined for 59 points 22 rebounds and 14 assists.
Miami had came into the Finals as an underdog but many did not believe they would lose the way they did to start the series.
Miami ran a zone defense that the Lakers managed to exploit thanks to their shooting from the perimeter. Many times Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green and others were able to shoot wide open 3-pointers due to Miami’s inability to rotate over in time to contest their shots.
Miami came out with a different starting lineup in game two with guard Tyler Herro and center Myers Leonard filling in the spots of Dragic and Adebayo.
The Lakers came out on top 124-114 and despite being down two starters the Heat did not go down easily.
In the 2nd and 3rd quarter Miami actually outscored Los Angeles 78-70. Butler led the Heat in scoring as he finished with 25 points, 13 assists and 8 rebounds.
All of this still wasn’t enough as James and Davis dominated once again.
The absence of Adebayo was a huge impact on the Heat’s inability to contain Davis as he finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds. James led the Lakers in scoring, finishing with 33 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 9 assists.
Their play helped the Lakers secure a 2-0 series lead, something James has never done in his previous 9 trips to the Finals.
This series has definitely been an uphill battle for Butler and the rest of the Miami Heat. Despite being down 0-2, game two showed that Miami can still remain competitive against Los Angeles.
However they are definitely going to have to come out stronger in these next two games to prevent a sweep.
For Los Angeles, the job isn’t finished and they are looking take a 3-0 lead on Sunday at 6 p.m.