Bam Adebayo (neck) and Goran Dragic (torn plantar fascia) will once again sit out during Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Both players became injured and had to leave Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers and had already sat out of Game 2.
There was some optimism that at least Adebayo would be able to play in Game 3 after he said he planned to, but both he and Dragic had also pushed to play in the last game before head coach Erik Spoelstra overruled them out due to concern for their health. He and the team have done so once again for Game 3.
“I don’t have a timeline on (Bam). He is feeling better. He’s not going to play tonight. I know how much that this means to him, and I know how much he wants to be out there. This is one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve had to make with the trainers and with Pat and everybody, but it’s the most responsible thing,” Spoelstra said pregame. “We’ll just continue to re-evaluate him.”
This was not an easy decision for the Heat pic.twitter.com/ODMsxmWD3E— Finals Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 4, 2020
This sucks, not just because injuries always suck, but also because both the Lakers and their fanbase would obviously want to beat this Heat team at full strength. The start of Game 1 and the structural issues Miami has always made a Lakers win in the series seem likely, but no one wants to listen to an offseason of asterisk talk.
The Heat are still a threat, however. Jimmy Butler is a legitimate superstar, and this Miami team is as competitive and gritty as they come. They have matchup issues against this Lakers roster, but Spoelstra is one of the best coaches in the NBA, and Los Angeles still has to take the Heat seriously if they want to make sure they keep pressing their advantage in this series, because they can’t necessarily count on staying healthy, either.
They have to respect who is in front of them, because the Heat will not roll over, and wouldn’t give L.A. any sympathy if the situations were reversed. The Lakers still have a mission to complete, and head coach Frank Vogel said that’s what their focused on.
“I know the guys playing for the Miami Heat are capable of beating us tonight, so I keep my focus there,” Vogel said before the game.
Los Angeles currently lead the NBA Finals 2-0. Game 3 tips off at 4:30 p.m. PT.