Unfortunately, injures will be the main story of Game 1, in which the Lakers dominated the Heat, winning the game 116-98. Goran Dragić and Bam Adebayo left the court with apparent injures, and Jimmy Butler played on a twisted ankle. And it looked so well for the Heat in the first quarter.
Miami jumped out to a 23 - 10 lead in Q1. They had the initiative and were playing great basketball. The rest of the game, it was all Lakers. Anthony Davis dominated with 34/9/5 and is in the lead for Finals MVP.
The worst report for the Heat is the one about Dragić, as he is most likely out for the rest of the series. According to reports, Dragić suffered a plantar tear in his left foot. The team hasn't ruled him out yet, but the odds are not in the Slovenian playmaker's favor.
Bam Adebayo, arguably the Heat's most important player, suffered a shoulder injury with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. Adebayo had X-rays, and they were negative, Miami said. This is the same shoulder Bam injured in Game 4 against the Celtics. Aggravating a recovering injury is never a good sign, but there's no doubt Bam will be back out there for Game 2.
Jimmy Butler turned his ankle at the end of the first half, but came back and put up good numbers. 23/2/5, 8-13 from the field, 2-4 from three-point. But, that meant nothing to Butler, who took responsibility for the entire team not doing what was agreed upon before the game.
“There's nothing to be said. We can watch all the film in the world, we understand, we know what we did not do, what we talked about we were going to do, we didn't do. We didn't rebound, we didn't make them miss any shots, we didn't get back, all of those things led to the deficit that we put ourselves in.”
Jimmy Butler, ESPN
Injuries are a big part of this loss, but they're not the only problem. Miami got outplayed, and everyone on the team understands that. At one point, the Heat were outscored by 40 over the course of two and a half quarters. That kind of deficit can't be attributed only to injuries.
“That is an annihilation. That is a but whipping. When something like that happens, there have been times in NBA history where a beat down has occurred in a Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and a team has come back. I'll give them [the Heat] an opportunity in Game 2 to make amends, but I speak for a lot of people in America when we say - We're fearful that a sweep is imminent.”
Steve A. Smith, ESPN
Yes, the Heat got horrible injury luck at the worst times, and they didn't look good in this game. But if there's a team that demonstrated character and can come out with a different attitude and effort in Game 2, it's the Miami Heat.