Tue, 27 Oct 2020

Miami reeling, wounded after Game 1 defeat

Field Level Media
01 Oct 2020, 14:40 GMT+10

Miami lost more than Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.

The Heat are facing a 1-0 deficit in the championship series but the full toll of their defeat might be told in the MRI exam room Thursday.

Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo suffered injuries in Wednesday's game and only Butler, the team's leading scorer in the postseason at 20.8 points per game, appeared in the fourth quarter.

"We've got to be tougher. We've got to put up more of a fight," Butler said.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat had no new information on Dragic's foot injury or Adebayo's shoulder strain after the game.

ESPN reported Dragic tore the plantar fascia in his left foot. Dragic hasn't ruled out playing in the Finals, per ESPN. He had only six points Wednesday.

"We are here for him. I know how much he wants to win," Butler said of Dragic. "I understand he wants to go out there and compete. He's got to take care of himself."

Butler, who led the Heat with 23 points, said his sprained ankle will be fine.

"We have great respect for those guys. It's just one win," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "We're happy we got one win. We've got to keep our foot on the gas."

It could be far more than one win.

Without the Heat's trio of leading playoff scorers and Adebayo in the paint, the Lakers lived in the lane on the offensive end and smothered Miami's offense. Dragic, who is averaging 19.9 points in the playoffs, appeared to suffer a significant foot injury driving to the basket. He didn't leave the locker room after halftime.

If Dragic is not available, rookie Kendrick Nunn will be in a prominent role. Butler said the team is confident in Nunn.

"It looks like he's going to be in this rotation," Butler said. "He stays ready."

LeBron James was too much to handle when he committed to enter the post and back down Nunn and Miami's other undersized guards.

"You have to get a feel for how hard Miami plays. We got a sense for that," said James, who played in his 255th career playoff game and game No. 50 in The Finals. "We got more work to do. It's that simple."

As do the Heat. Spoelstra said Miami will practice Thursday. Game 2 is Friday.

"The Lakers set the tenor, the tone, for the majority of the game. They just took control," Spoelstra said. "We're much better than we showed tonight."

--Field Level Media

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