Though shorthanded, the Miami Heat put up a fight, trimming an 18-point deficit down to nine multiple times.
However, it wasn’t enough. The star power of the Los Angeles Lakers was just too much to overcome as Miami fell 124-114.
The Lakers now lead the series two games to none.
Here are my takeaways from Friday’s loss to the Lakers.
Butler’s all-around game
He was aggressive in driving to the basket, as well as finding open shooters. Though there were times where Butler may have over-passed. He had 13 assists on the night, but he seemed too passive in key moments where he needed to rise to the occasion as a shooter.
For example, he had Alex Caruso guarding him near the basket. Instead of looking for his shot, Butler deferred. He may have finished with 25 points, but 17 shots just won’t going to cut it for the out-manned Miami Heat. Butler has to start looking for his shot more.
Kelly Olynyk‘s boost
With Bam Adebayo out, it opened up more minutes for Kelly Olynyk. In 24 minutes, the Gonzaga product made the most of them.
His scoring kept the team in the game, especially during a third-quarter run that brought the deficit to single digits. Unfortunately for Miami, however, he came back down to earth in the fourth.
Overall, it was a good performance for Olynyk, who finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, and two assists off the bench.
Davis remains unstoppable
Miami still has no answer for Anthony Davis. After scoring 34 points in Game 1, Davis started the game shooting 14-of-15 from the field.
He had 30 points before the end of the third quarter, killing the Heat defense inside and out. It didn’t matter who guarded him, Davis used the matchup to his advantage. If he was defended by a smaller player, he’d simply rise up or bully his way to the basket. If Miami tried to get big with him, he’d use his speed to work around them.
Davis ended the night with 32 points (15-of-20 shooting) and 14 rebounds.
Miami’s zone defense rendered ineffective
With the team down some key players, Miami played more zone defense in Game 2. Unfortunately, the zone wasn’t as effective against the Lakers. Davis, LeBron James, and Rajon Rondo kept picking it apart with good interior passing.
The Lakers got to the rim at will and were able to spot open shooters from three-point range. Second chance opportunities also hurt Miami, as Los Angeles recorded 16 offensive rebounds.
The Lakers scored 56 points in the paint and made 16 three-pointers on an NBA Finals-record 47 attempts.
Game 3 is on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EST, where Miami looks to avoid being put in a commanding three games to none deficit.
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