Coming from the Western Conference is the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Lebron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers beat out the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets. All going to only 5 games. Coming from the Eastern Conference is the Miami Heat, led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. They beat out the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Boston Celtics. The Heat was the underdog of the East, since most people had the Bucks or Celtics coming out. Let’s see what happened in the first two games of the Finals.
Lakers Vs. Heat
Game 1 of the series, the Heat managed to keep up with the Lakers in the first quarter, but slowly lost momentum going forward. The Heat is heavily undersized compared to the Lakers, because the Heat only has a dependable big man in Bam. But unfortunately, Goran Dragic and Bam went down and left the game early due to an injury in the foot and shoulder, respectively. Once both key players exited, the Heat struggled defensively especially in the paint. The Heat looks towards Kelly Olynk and Kendrick Nunn to fill in for Bam and Goran in game 2. The same story played out in game 2. The Heat kept up with the Lakers’ pace, but couldn’t match them in the next 3 quarters. The Heat again struggled to defend the paint as Anthony Davis and Lebron James feasted down low. Another key players for the Lakers was Dwight Howard in game 1 and Rajon Rondo in game 2. Dwight took Davis’s defensive responsibility in defending the big man for the Heat. This allows Davis to focus more on offense. Rondo in game 2 controlled the tempo and movement of the offense in game 2, alleviating some offensive responsibility off of Lebron’s shoulder. But Lebron still racked up 33 points and 9 assists sooooooooo…
The Heat is playing a zone defense which is all they can do for now since, if they go man-to-man, players like Anthony Davis will take advantage of the undersize Miami all game and possibly go for 60 points. So to minimize that, playing zone is their best option, even though the Laker’s clearly found holes in their defense. Lebron consistently probes the middle, putting pressure inside the defense, allowing him to kick it out for an open three or have someone cut inside. With Bam and Goran out and down 0-2, it’s hard for the Heat to come back from this deficit. But Miami is here in the Finals for a reason so if they go out, they’ll go out fighting.
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Signing off, JT