Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Lakers vs Heat – NBA Finals – Game 2

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Los Angeles Lakers (13-3) |  Miami Heat (12-4)

 

The Lakers will look go up 2-0 in series after a dominant Game 1 victory in the NBA Finals.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers made easy work of the Miami Heat in Game 1 with a 116-98 win. Everything was clicking for the Lake Show, with their largest lead being 32 at one point in the third quarter.

 

Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: LA Times

Anthony Davis, who made his NBA Finals debut, led all scorers with 34 points on 11-21 (52.3%) shooting from the floor. Davis also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists.

LeBron James showed why he is still the best player in the game, coming up one assist shy of another triple-double. He finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.

James was all over the floor on the defensive end as well. He was like a hawk, exploiting screens to slow down the recent hot shooting of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. It is evident that James has his eyes on the prize, and no one can stop him from getting to it this time.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green definitely showed up on the biggest stage so far, as both finished with double figures. Caldwell-Pope had 13 points, as Green scored 11. Both players showed why they are starting on this team by knocking down several three-pointers and making an effort to chase and lockdown Miami’s streaky shooters.

Fan-favorite Alex Caruso even finished in double figures with 10 points off the bench. He shot 4-6 (66%) from the field, including one of his trademark “Caru-show” tomahawk slam dunks.

The opening minutes of the game were the only moments where it seemed like this would be a nail-biter, with the Heat jumping out to a double-digit lead. After a Lakers timeout, head coach Frank Vogel made some substitutions and inserted veteran point guard Rajon Rondo into the game. Once Rondo entered, the game was never the same as he operated the offense like a top-line surgeon. The championship-winning point guard just knows how to pick his opponent apart on both sides of the floor, and it made a difference. After he entered the game, Los Angeles caught up, took the lead, and never looked back.

The only starter for the Lakers who did not score in double figures was Dwight Howard, who made his third consecutive start. Although he only finished with two points, his presence was still felt and essential to the beating the Lakers were giving. Howard did a tremendous job of slowing down and battling Miami’s All-Star big man Bam Adebayo. Everything was going so smoothly for Los Angeles that JaVale McGee, the usual starting center, did not even have to play.

 

Now things were completely different on the other side of the floor for the Heat. Not only did they get blown out, but they also had a few injuries to some important players.

 

Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Adebayo, who only finished with eight points and four rebounds, left the game in the third quarter after injuring his left shoulder. In my opinion, it was a bit self-inflicted as he barrelled his shoulder into a rock named Dwight Howard on a drive to the hoop. Adebayo bounced off Howard and landed on the ground, holding his shoulder in pain; while Howard stood there unbothered. It remains to be seen if Adebayo will be able to play in Game 2.

Starting point guard Goran Dragic only finished with six points and three assists. His night also ended early as he seemed to injure his foot while driving to the basket. After the game, Dragic was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, which may have him out for the rest of the series.

 

Jimmy Butler, who is the best player and leader of this team, happened to twist his ankle on a play driving to the hoop. Butler fought through the pain to still lead Miami in scoring with 23 points on 8-13 (61.5%) shooting.

 

Lakers vs Heat

Jae Crowder was the only other starter to score in double figures for Miami with 12 points, all on three-pointers.

Kendrick Nunn came off the bench to score 18 points, but most of those came in garbage time. Herro was also able to finish the game in double figures with 14 points.

It will be interesting to see what adjustments Erik Spoelstra and his staff will make for Game 2. It won’t be easy for them with injuries to some of their key players.

As for the Lakers, they need just to keep the foot on the gas at this point. They did make 15 three-pointers, which is highly unusual for them, but we shall see if they can continue the streaky hot shooting.

 

 

The Lakers tip-off against the Heat in Game 2 at 6 pm PT. You can watch the game on ABC.

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-Isaiah Torres – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter- Isaiah_Torres24

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