Friday, October 2, 2020, AdventHealth Arena, Kissimmee, Florida, 9 p.m. ET
Heat at Lakers Betting Preview: Heat (+9.5/+275), Lakers (-9.5/-340)
The Heat need to make sure their 13-point lead in the opening eight minutes of Game 1 is not a series highlight, although the circumstances of the opener have created an ominous outlook. Injuries to Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, and Jimmy Butler will leave head coach Eric Spoelstra waiting to see who is available in Game 2.
Dragic tore the plantar fascia in his left foot in the first half, Adebayo strained his neck in the third quarter and Butler rolled his left ankle just before halftime. Butler was the only one to continue playing.
None of the three have been ruled out moving forward but Dragic and Adebayo are listed as doubtful. Those three entered the Finals contributing a combined 60.1 points per game in the playoffs. They combined for 37 points Wednesday, with Butler scoring 23 of those.
Without Adebayo eating space in the middle, the Heat was outrebounded 54-36 and was outscored 16-9 on second-chance points.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers appeared to be falling into their pattern of a subpar series opener before a well-placed timeout midway through the first quarter seemed to change their fortunes. The Lakers were blitzed by an early 13-0 Heat run, but outscored Miami 21-5 from the timeout through the end of the first quarter.
The Lakers turned it on from there and did not let up even as the Heat went through injury issues to key players. Los Angeles led by as many as 32 midway through the third quarter before easing off the gas from there.
LeBron James had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, while Anthony Davis had 34 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers’ stars continued to deliver. Dwight Howard received his third consecutive start of the playoffs, in an effort to combat Adebayo, and had eight rebounds in 15 minutes.
Heat at Lakers Betting Pick for Game 2 of the NBA Finals
The health of the Heat is key moving forward but even if Dragic and Adebayo play, they figure to be limited. There is talk of Dragic receiving a cortisone shot in his foot, while Adebayo’s injury goes back to the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics and doesn’t figure to be going away anytime soon.
Spoelstra could proceed with the game plan, or completely alter the strategy, but either way forward figures to have holes the Lakers should expose.
Heat at Lakers Betting Pick:
Lakers 112, Heat 99
Heat at Lakers Best Bet Game 2 for NBA Finals
This close to a championship, the Lakers are not likely to let their guard down even if the Heat are shorthanded in Game 2. It creates a scenario where the Lakers get an early jump on a compromised Heat team, gain a sizable first-half lead and then get some of the bench into the mix in the second half.
Heat at Lakers Best Bet: GAME UNDER 216.5 (-110)