After such an incredible performance from Jimmy Butler and the team Friday night to force a Game 6, there was seemingly nothing left in the tank as it was one of those games that was lost in the first quarter as the Lakers set the tone led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Their defense would not allow the Heat to get into any sort of offensive flow, even with the return of the injured Goran Dragic — who was only a shell of himself and tallied five points, five rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes off the bench.
Bam Adebayo was also clearly not himself and was dominated in the paint during the first half by Davis as he was lacking his usual explosiveness, but turned it around in the second half when the game was decided to finish with a team-high 25 points in 42 minutes. Butler was unable to show any flashes of his brilliant Game 5 performance with just 12 points scored to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds in 45 minutes.
Miami played uncharacteristic playoff basketball tonight, as they were unable to shoot from distance and from the free throw line and there was zero rim protection defensively — especially in the first half.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow but the Lakers were the deserving team to win the title. With Adebayo and Dragic only able to play a handful of minutes healthy in Game 1 before getting injured, we’ll never know how this series would have played out if both teams were healthy but we’ll never forget this incredible, magical run the Heat enjoyed in the bubble. To have forced a Game 6 after becoming the champs of the Eastern Conference is an incredible accomplishment and the future is extremely bright for the Heat.
We’ll have more coverage of this memorable season in the days to come and there will be plenty of time for reflection, but this is a day to hold our heads up high and be thankful for being fans of such a proud franchise that played the game the right way and with heart and pride.