Miami Heat: The View from both sides thus far in NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9)(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9)(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat are being handled, 2-0, at the moment in the NBA Finals. Although not a totally clear picture yet, this is what I see on both sides.

The Miami Heat are in a tough series. A really tough series.

They are down two of their three best players, at the moment, and they are facing a team that has two of the top six players in the world. Yes, in the entire world.

You double down on that by saying that they arguably have the best perimeter player and the best big man players in the league, in tandem, and both operating at an extremely high clip thus far. That is literally what the Miami Heat are facing and it shows.

This isn’t an excuse though, as there is no time for that. That is simply calling a spade a spade.

With that in mind though, it isn’t actually as bad as it may seem. Here is what I mean, as I tell you what I am seeing from both sides.

From a Miami Heat perspective, Game 1 was an anomaly. They simply got beat and manhandled, as they didn’t play with the same intensity or passion that they have played with all season.

It counts in the books and towards the eventual title winner, but as far as we go, we can throw that one out. The Miami Heat weren’t their same fiery selves in that game and it showed.

In Game 2 however, they played the Miami Heat brand of basketball. They played hard, tenacious, ferocious but the Miami Heat were not able to overcome the talent disparity.

Without Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic‘s production in the lineup, they were simply not able to produce enough offense to make it closer. Although a defeat, you are encouraged by that because the Miami Heat stayed with 9-13 all game.

That seems crazy, but hear me out. It wasn’t a blowout, but a maintained steady lead, which means that the Miami Heat could hang with or even beat the Lakers if they weren’t down about 40 percent of their total offense as a team.

Take what you will from that or with that, but it’s the truth. If Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo play in Game 2, along with the effort that the Miami Heat played with, that’s a different game and likely a different result.

On the Lakers’ side of things, it’s pretty simple. LeBron James is playing with imposition and a demeanor unlike any I have ever seen him play with.

For all of the storylines and narratives about how he wanted the Miami Heat, it’s showing. LeBron is bullying people in the paint like we wanted him to do so badly back in 13-14, or heck, even across his entire tenure in Miami.

His attitude and presence have permeated that entire Lakers team, as they all think that they can just lollygag in and out of the paint with ease. He’s empowered them with that confidence.

Lastly, it’s almost like every time he outmuscles someone in the paint, he peers into the souls of both Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley, as in to say “you did this” or “I wish this were you”. That’s what I see.

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Listen and again, this series isn’t over as the Miami Heat wouldn’t want it the easy way. Also as stated, with Bam Adebayo, it would have been a different game in Game 2.

He and Goran have a chance to play Sunday, with Bam almost being certain to play and if they do, I expect things to change. Until then, let’s hope we can get them both back. This is what I have seen thus far though.