Well, what can we say: Game 1 of the NBA Finals did not go the way that the Miami Heat, the de facto favorite NBA team of Marquette fans everywhere, wanted it to go. In fact, it was very much worse than that.
The Heat actually led by double digits midway through the first quarter, and other than a teeny tiny blip in the second, that was the best that they did against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a 25-12 lead with 4:21 to go in the quarter after Andre Iguodala jammed in a missed Jae Crowder three-pointer.... and then it was a 31-28 Lakers lead at the end of the quarter. That’s a 19-3 run by Los Angeles, and that’s bad for just four minutes.
Miami would end up reclaiming the lead midway through the second on a Tyler Herro three-pointer, but then it was all downhill for the Heat. Los Angeles seemingly could not miss from long range in the first half, connecting on 9 out of 11 attempts in the final four minutes of the first quarter and all of the second, and it was 65-48 LA at halftime. Part of the Lakers’ ability to drain threes, quite honestly, is that Miami had no reason to expect them to hit the shots. Los Angeles was shooting just 33.6% from long range in the Bubble, ranking them 21st out of 22 teams that went to Disney World. They had two games in the postseason shooting under 25%.
Los Angeles opened up the third quarter on an 18-3 run, and that was officially that for this one. However, the bad news did not stop for the Heat. Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo are listed as doubtful for Friday night’s Game 2, suffering from a foot injury and a shoulder injury respectively. Jimmy Butler notably turned his ankle very late in the first half, but he stayed in the game.
Speaking of Jimmy, since we’re here for the Marquette action of all of this, he finished with a nice stat line of 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting along with two rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Jae Crowder had his shooting touch going, connecting on four of his seven long range attempts to record 12 points, two rebounds, and two blocks in 24 minutes of action.
If you’re cheering for the Heat here (and as a Marquette fan, obviously you are) and you’re worried about Game 1, well, let me alleviate your worries. First, this note, from CBS Sports.
The Miami Heat have lost Game 1 in each of their championship seasons ⬇— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 1, 2020
2020: L Game 1, ???
2013: L Game 1, won in 7
2012: L Game 1, won in 5
2006: L Game 1, won in 6
It isn't over yet #HEATCulture pic.twitter.com/9lmLorXWWd
Second, this video of Jimmy Butler very late in Game 1.