Lakers prove their dominance in game one of NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers continue to dominate the postseason with 116-98 win over Miami.

After+being+heartbroken+over+the+death+of+the+late+Kobe+Bryant%2C+the+team+has+decided+to+dedicate+this+postseason+to+the+five-time+NBA+champion.+The+Lakers+paid+tribute+++by+debuting+a+%27Black+Mamba%27+jersey+in+honor+of+Bryant.

Courtesy of Jerry Perezchica / Creative Commons

After being heartbroken over the death of the late Kobe Bryant, the team has decided to dedicate this postseason to the five-time NBA champion. The Lakers paid tribute by debuting a ‘Black Mamba’ jersey in honor of Bryant.

After six months of waiting, the NBA Finals are finally here. The Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler represent the Eastern Conference while the Western Conference is represented by LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game one of the NBA Finals began last Wednesday night, and the Lakers dominated all facets of the game.

 During the first few minutes of the game, the Heat came out shooting and held an early thirteen point lead over the heavily-favored Lakers. From that moment on, everything seemed to go LA’s way. After a slow start, the Lakers went on to win 116-98 leaving them three games away from capturing a record 18th NBA championship.

Later in the second quarter, injuries started derailing the Heat’s game plan. Veteran guard Goran Dragic went down late in the second quarter and was unavailable for the entire second half of game one. Dragic appeared to injure his left leg while driving against Laker guard Rajon Rondo. Dragic has been the Heat’s leading scorer during this year’s playoff run, and this loss could be catastrophic for Miami’s offense. 

Then, midway through the third quarter, Bam Adebayo also exited the game with a shoulder injury and was unavailable for the remainder of the game. The young star injured the same shoulder during the Eastern Conference Finals series after getting tangled with Jason Tatum in game four. Jimmy Butler also appeared to have rolled his ankle in the closing seconds of the first half. Erik Spoelstra, Miami head coach, was forced to call a timeout with under thirty seconds left in the half to give Butler the chance to head to the locker room early. 

Even when the Heat had all three stars healthy, they had no answer for the Lakers big man, Anthony Davis (AD). Davis finished the game with 34 points, nine rebounds, five assists and went 11-21 from the field. Throughout the game, the Heat had no answer for Davis; he was able to get his shot off whenever he desired, especially once the injury to Bam forced Bam out of the game. In his 50th finals game LeBron James got off to a slow start, but he was still able to finish with 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to go along with 9-17 from the field. 

Spoelstra and the Heat pride themselves on their ability to play great defense as a team, but if game one showed us anything, it’s that their lack of big men can come back to haunt them. Before his injury, Adebayo spent most of his time guarding AD, but even a healthy Bam struggled to slow down AD offensively. 

My series prediction was LA in five games, but with the injuries to Bam and Dragic, I could see a scenario where LA finds a way to sweep Miami out of the bubble. LeBron James is now three wins away from winning his fourth NBA championship, which would put him one title away from tying the late Kobe Bryant with five. LeBron and the Lakers have been vocal about how this season is dedicated to Kobe, and a championship would be the perfect ending to an emotionally draining season.