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Sports Heat are ailing, but insist NBA Finals vs Lakers aren't over

01:11  02 october  2020
01:11  02 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Los Angeles Lakers run away from Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of Western Conference finals

  Los Angeles Lakers run away from Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of Western Conference finals Anthony Davis led the way as the Los Angeles Lakers handled the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.Predicting the CFP Playoff (given that Ohio State likely won't be in it)

Ahead of the 2019-20 season restart, the Bucks and Lakers were tied for the best odds to win the championship inside the NBA 's "bubble." Despite entering the postseason as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat reached the 2020 NBA Finals in the exact same amount of games as

2020 NBA Finals : Lakers vs . Heat 2020 NBA Finals : Lakers vs . Heat . They already held the clear size advantage over a Miami team that just offers Adebayo The Lakers are no different. They’ve put themselves in position to do the expected in this series, and quickly, against an overmatched opponent.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jimmy Butler had a bandage on his right knee and a wrap on his left ankle. His team’s starting point guard and centre are both doubtful to play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. And his Miami Heat are coming off a one-sided loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd © Provided by The Canadian Press

Given all that, Butler believes a perception exists that this series is already over.

“I beg to differ,” Butler said Thursday.

Say this for the Heat: They’re down but refuse to believe they’re anywhere near out. Game 2 of the finals is Friday night, with Miami bracing to be without point guard Goran Dragic because of a torn left plantar fascia and All-Star Bam Adebayo due to a newly diagnosed neck injury on top of his ongoing shoulder issues.

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James: 'Not one time have I said let's act violent toward cops'

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The LA Lakers are the favorites in the 2020 NBA Finals but the Miami Heat are in with a great chance. The LA Lakers have been led on both ends of the court by their frontcourt players. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have combined for over 55 points for the Purple and Gold in the

The 2020 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat tips off tonight. The Lakers are responsible for a 58% majority of moneyline tickets, although Finals with a Celtics opponent that appeared poised to finally break through and reach the Finals after falling just short in two of the last

“When it rains, it pours,” said Butler, who’ll play through a sore ankle in Game 2. “All in all, though, we’re still expected to win. We got here for a reason. We realize we belong. ... Obviously, we definitely need those two guys, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve always said, next man up when a man goes down.”

The Lakers won Game 1 116-98, a score that didn’t exactly show how lopsided things were for much of the game. Miami started on a 25-12 run; the Lakers scored 75 of the game’s next 105 points — a staggering burst. A 13-point deficit midway through the first quarter became a 32-point lead midway through the third for the Lakers.

That, combined with Miami’s injury problems, sure seems to indicate that the Lakers have full control of this matchup. Dragic had been Miami’s leading scorer in the first three playoff rounds. Adebayo is the team’s best rebounder and blossoming into a superstar.

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The Los Angeles Lakers are in control. After trailing by 13 points early in Game 1 of The Finals , they outscored the Miami Heat 75-30 over the next 22 minutes of basketball , eventually cruising to a a. 2020 NBA Finals : Lakers vs . Heat 2020 NBA Finals : Lakers vs . Heat .

The Miami Heat are (formidable) underdogs. While the Heat only finished fifth in the Eastern Conference, they proved themselves by dominating teams The Lakers , meanwhile, finished No. 1 in the Western Conference and were considered favorites to reach the Finals with the L.A. Clippers and

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he’ll plan for Dragic and Adebayo to play. But even if they can’t go, Vogel said Miami’s fourth-quarter lineup from Game 1 — a group that included Kendrick Nunn and Kelly Olynyk, both of whom would see much bigger roles if Dragic and Adebayo are out — presented some challenges.

“They have an army of guys that play a great style of play, that’s very, very difficult to guard,” Vogel said. “They work extremely hard on the defensive end and we’ve got to prepare for whoever’s in uniform.”

The Lakers have a locked-in LeBron James — who was one assist shy of extending his record for finals triple-doubles — and Anthony Davis made his finals debut look easy with 34 points. But James is taking nothing for granted, revealing that he was up until 4:30 a.m. Thursday watching film from Game 1.

James said he saw plenty of ways the Lakers can be better.

“We are playing against an exceptional basketball team,” James said. “Obviously, great-coached. We've have to continue to understand that coming into Game 2 ... they're going to make adjustments in Game 2 and we need to be ready for that.”

Heat eliminate Celtics, will face Lakers in 1st Finals appearance since 2014

  Heat eliminate Celtics, will face Lakers in 1st Finals appearance since 2014 The Miami Heat have booked a showdown against a familiar friend as they attempt to win their fourth title in franchise history. Miami beat the Boston Celtics 125-113 in Game 6 on Sunday to close out the Eastern Conference finals. As a result, the East's scrappy, fifth-seeded underdogs are headed back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014, the last year of LeBron James' four-season run with the team. Fittingly, James will stand between his former team and its fourth championship, as the 35-year-old superstar's Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals Saturday to clinch their first Finals berth since 2010.

Anthony Davis' Finals debut was everything Lakers fans dreamed about when the team acquired him in the summer of 2019. LeBron James finishes just one assist shy of a triple-double, scoring 25 points and 13 rebounds to power the Lakers to a Game 1 win over the Heat .

2020 NBA Finals : Lakers vs . Heat 2020 NBA Finals : Lakers vs . Heat . Adebayo’s rim protection is compromised when the Heat are switching all over the place, as Boston exploited at How can the Heat counteract the Lakers in the 2020 Finals ? That said, Iguodala’s work on James during their first

Nunn had 18 points in Game 1. He was Miami’s starter the entire regular season, finished second in the rookie of the year voting, but has been used sparingly in the playoffs — in part because Dragic has been so good, in part because Nunn missed Miami’s first 25 days in the bubble because of his recovery from the coronavirus.

“I’m ready to play,” Nunn said. “I’ve been ready, been all season. I had to step up, and simple as that. I’ll be ready to play and compete and go out there and try to get a win.”

The numbers clearly show that Game 1 winners typically prevail in a series. The Heat know it’s not an absolute rule. So does James. All three of Miami’s NBA titles came after Game 1 losses in the finals. James was part of two of those comebacks, and his third championship in Cleveland was won in the same fashion.

This feels a bit different, of course, given the injury concerns.

“This is when you feel most alive, when you’re being tested competitively and challenged in new ways, different ways,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This is a quality opponent. This is the way the whole playoff system is supposed to be set up. It’s supposed to get tougher and more challenging every single round and may the best team win at the very end.”

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Lakers vs. Heat: Three keys to watch in Game 2 of the NBA Finals .
Can the depleted Heat bounce back, or will the Lakers take control of the series? Here are three keys to watch in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.After an 18-point rout in Game 1, Jimmy Butler knows most fans expect the Los Angeles Lakers to make quick work of the Miami Heat in the rest of the NBA Finals.

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