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2020 NBA Finals Game 3 Preview: Can Jimmy & Jae Battle Back From Down 0-2?

Things are not looking good for the Heat as they enter the third game of the best-of-seven series tonight.

2020 NBA Finals - Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Your usual back-and-forth start to a basketball game turned fairly quickly on the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. The Los Angeles Lakers led by six at the end of the first quarter, and after the Heat had cut the lead from double digits down to less than five during the course of the second quarter, it was still a 14 point margin at the half. LA would lead by as many as 18 in the third quarter and Miami would never seriously challenge the Lakers the rest of the way. Your final: Lakers 124, Heat 114, and Los Angeles holds a 2-0 lead in the series heading to Game 3 on Sunday night.

It is not, as the kids say, what you want if you’re a Miami Heat fan, and with two former Marquette Golden Eagles stars on the Heat roster in Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder, that means Marquette fans are Heat fans right now. I guess there’s probably some Lakers/Marquette crossover out there somewhere, so I apologize to y’all for siding against y’all, but you get the deal.

Perhaps the impressive thing about this essentially one-sided loss by the Heat is they were pretty great on offense. Miami shot 51% from the floor overall and 41% from long range. That’s an effective field goal percentage of 58.5%, and if you can get that, you’ll take it every day. They had 29 assists on 36 made baskets, which is pretty great stuff, and Butler led the squad with 13.

Miami’s biggest problem in the game was that Los Angeles shot 51% from the field themselves and also grabbed up 34% of their missed shots. With Bam Adebayo sidelined with a shoulder issue, Anthony Davis was able to get eight offensive rebounds all on his own, and that accounted for half of LA’s second chances. In short: Davis was doing as good of a job on the offensive glass as Miami was as a team. Welp.

So what do they do different, since Adebayo is doubtful again for Game 3, as is Goran Dragic? Well, I’m glad I’m not the one who gets paid the big bucks to figure it out, but Erik Spoelstra is, so we’ll see what he pulls out of his bag.

2020 NBA FINALS

GAME 3

Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat

Date: Sunday, October 4, 2020
Time: 6:30pm Central
Location: Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex
Television: ABC
Streaming: WatchESPN
Twitter Updates: @NBA & @MiamiHeat