Anthony Davis showed up big in his NBA Finals debut, scoring 34 points in the Lakers 116-98 Game 1 victory over the Heat. The premier matchup was one Miami will undoubtedly want to forget and move on as quickly as possible, but recent injuries to their roster could be catastrophic.
It truly sucks when you see players be struck down by injuries, especially in the NBA Finals. For the Heat, Bam Adebayo irritated a recent shoulder injury and was finished for the game after just 21 minutes. Then, Jimmy Butler twisted his ankle, which prevented him from playing at full speed. And finally, perhaps the most important one, Goran Dragić limped off the court suffering a plantar fascia tear in his left foot. Three key players all worse for wear.
As for the Lakers, an unstoppable performance was governed by their two superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James. LA went on a blistering 75-30 point scoring stretch, which took place after barely 22 minutes of play. The Lakers were also ridiculous from beyond the arc, especially in the first half when LA hit 11 of their first 17 threes; that type of shooting is not meant to happen. But throughout the game, you could genuinely tell that the Lakers overwhelming roster size and bully ball approach to the first game felt unbearable for Miami.
Besides the unfortunate injuries, what I thought let Miami down for the match was their defensive plan in choosing specific players to hurt them on the scoreboard. Too many times a mismatch was formed, or a sharp shooter was left wide open to drain that 3-pointer. Those type of mistakes don’t happen too often in the Finals, and LA made them sincerely pay for it. Game 2 is this Friday, don’t expect a performance like Game 1 to happen again.
Catch you Monday.