After much nebulousness about their availability after sustaining injuries during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, multiple reports say that Miami Heat starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic will both miss tonight’s rematch against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Miami Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo (shoulder) will miss Game 2 of the NBA Finals vs. Lakers tonight, but there remains hope that he could return for Game 3 on Sunday, sources tell ESPN. The Heat have listed him as doubtful for tonight.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 2, 2020
Heat guard Goran Dragic (torn plantar fascia) has been ruled out of Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Dragic is Miami’s second-leading postseason scorer at 19.9 points per game.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 2, 2020
In short, this sucks, because you never want to see injuries happen to anyone, no matter who you’re rooting for. Even though everyone reading this post on a Lakers blog obviously wants the team to take a 2-0 lead tonight, this is not how any actual competitor wants to do it. You want to beat teams at their best.
That said, and as the Lakers have repeated over and over again throughout these playoffs, the job’s not finished. Not because they’re up 1-0, not if they take a 2-0 lead, and not because the Heat are dealing with injuries to two of their best players. The Lakers can’t act like they’ve won before they’ve done it.
If anything, despite their overwhelming talent advantage, the Lakers have to lock in even more, because this Heat team is deep and fights hard, and is going to go out there tonight with the mentality of a cornered, wounded animal. The Lakers can’t control Miami’s injury status, no matter how unfortunate. They just have to go out there and execute their game plan, regardless of who is on the floor. They were already heavily favored tonight and will be even more so no, but they have to actually go out there and take this game, and not let an assumed win become an embarrassing loss.
After all, you know the old saying about what happens to people who assume things.
This post may be updated with more information as this story develops. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.