NBA Finals Game 4 Preview

NBA Finals Game 4 Preview

by October 6, 2020 0 comments

The Miami Heat got back into the series against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 115-104 win Sunday night. Led by Jimmy Butler‘s triple-double, the short-handed Heat found a way to extend the series.

Game 4 will take place Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. EST. The Lakers will look to re-assert themselves as a dominant force by taking a 3-1 lead, while the Heat will look to again shock the NBA world by evening the series.

Injury Notes:

Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo remain the key players to watch on either team’s injury reports. While neither Heat player has been ruled out of the remainder of the series, they both face uphill battles in getting back onto the court for this series.

The upgrade to Adebayo’s game status is promising for the Heat. He won’t be 100% if he takes the court, but he offers the Heat the best possible chance to slow down the Lakers. A key cog to the Heat’s success, keep an eye on the status of Adebayo as game time approaches.

What to Watch For

Jimmy Butler

Butler had himself a career game in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. He finished with 40 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds. Butler shot 14-20 (70 percent) from the field, in addition to knocking down 12-14 free throw attempts (85.7 percent). In order for the Heat to overcome their shorthanded reality, Butler needs to continue to play like the superstar he was in Game 3.

Specifically important for Butler was his decision to get to the free-throw line at will. The aggressive approach not only is crucial in slowing the game down and getting ‘free’ points against a tough Lakers defense, but it also helps the Heat bail themselves out of bad offensive possessions. With Dragic and Adebayo potentially out, Butler only has rookie Tyler Herro to rely on to create for himself offensively.


The Lakers dug their own hole early in Game 3. From the opening tip, they were sloppy offensively and turned the ball over far too much for a team in the NBA Finals. They never truly dug themselves out of the hole either, and by the end of the game, they’d committed 19 turnovers as a team.

Particularly concerning were the eight committed by LeBron James, which isn’t going to be acceptable moving forward.

The Heat, as a team, committed just 12 turnovers.

Three-Point Shooters

Duncan Robinson, arguably the best three-point specialist in the game today, has yet to get going from deep in the Finals. He’s just 5-20 from three, following a Conference Finals series that saw him go 20-49 from three. The Heat needs Robinson to start connecting if they want to give themselves a real chance at upsetting the Lakers.

It isn’t just the Heat who have seen a key three-point specialist go ice cold, as the Lakers are going through the same situation with Danny Green (4-20) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5-20). While the struggle is nothing new for Green, who shot 32 percent from three in the Western Conference Finals, Caldwell-Pope’s shooting struggles are a new development.

For much of the season, Caldwell-Pope has been the Lakers’ best shooter, and while the Lakers have proven they can overcome Green’s offensive struggles, Caldwell-Pope has been a big reason they’ve been able to. Game 4 may very well be decided by which teams shooting specialists can make an impact.


This series faces its most crucial moment in Game 4. While the Lakers can all but seal the deal, the Heat can essentially restart the series.

Look for Butler to again come out with the aggressiveness he displayed in the last game. Whether Adebayo plays or not, Kelly Olynyk again will be asked to provide a spark for the Heat.

For the Lakers, expect LeBron to come out both aggressive and with an emphasis on taking care of the ball. Further, Anthony Davis has no choice but to avoid the foul trouble that plagued him in Game 3. It’s likely there’s an added emphasis on getting Davis going early in the game to ensure he’s involved for 48 minutes.

The Lakers take a commanding 3-1 series lead, behind a big scoring night from Davis and another Finals triple-double from LeBron.

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