It was a tough night for the Miami Heat in game six against the Los Angeles Lakers, which led to a loss 106-93. Nothing seemed to be clicking for Miami throughout this game, and was a tough way to go out after this incredible run. Well, here are five takeaways from this game…
#1: Bam Adebayo just clearly isn’t 100%.
One of the biggest keys for the Miami Heat to win game six was a healthy Bam Adebayo. And it was clear from the jump, that wasn’t the case. He did not have that same energy or bounce on either end of the floor and it showed. Although Jimmy Butler has had some huge games in this finals run, Bam is still the engine to the team. So when he isn’t bringing it, it’s hard for others to do so. And once again, that’s clearly because of the injury that occurred in game two, but he has tried to battle through it. It did showcase his toughness, but it took a toll on this Heat team. Without that Bam Adebayo that they had in the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s tough to close out a talented Lakers team.
#2: Miami going away from Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn early was problematic.
The biggest takeaway from this game was that Erik Spoelstra made some questionable substitutions in the first half. Duncan Robinson clearly had it going and Kendrick Nunn seemed to have picked it up where he left off, but they somehow found themselves on the bench. The insertion of Goran Dragic into the game was meaningful for the Heat organization and fan base, but may have hurt them in game six. Especially since Miami’s shots weren’t falling and the spacing was off, it was interesting for Spo to go that long without subbing them back in. This isn’t to say that the Lakers wouldn’t have gone on that run if he went this route, but seemed as if it may have given them a better shot.
#3: Offensive issues led to turnovers, which led to a flowing Lakers offense.
The offensive issues that occurred in game six were pretty obvious. For one, they just weren’t hitting shots. And when this Heat team isn’t hitting shots, it’s a hard game to win. Another thing was that the spacing was completely off for Miami. That may have had something to do with the fact that the offense was stagnant, but the answer isn’t to have three guys stand in one corner. This ultimately led to a ton of Miami turnovers, and that’s one thing you can’t do against this Lakers team. Once LeBron James gets going on the open floor, it’s hard to stop, and that’s exactly what he did tonight. The Lakers took advantage of Miami’s mistakes, much like the Heat did in game five. An overall tough night for Miami led to this loss.
#4: LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been tested all series long, but that wasn’t the case in game six.
You can only go so long without two of the five best players in the world dominating. As mentioned previously, on a night where mistakes are constantly being made by Miami, these guys will take advantage of them. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were assertive throughout, taking control on both sides of the floor. Miami’s plan coming in was to double team LeBron and AD, and make the role players beat you. And well, they stepped up as well, due to Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope having huge games on the offensive end. The defense for Miami wasn’t the problem though, but the offensive issues led to defensive breakdowns. LeBron and AD made sure to pounce on a troubling Heat team in game six, and they came out with the victory.
#5: Although a tough outcome, what a run it has been.
It’s hard not to focus on the actual loss that Miami endured in game six, but you have to take a look at the big picture as well. This Miami Heat team wasn’t supposed to even be here in this situation, but their grittiness and will to win got them here. This is not a time to be down after a loss in the finals, it’s actually a time to celebrate for the development and future of this team. For Miami to beat the MVP, in Giannis Antetokounmpo, in five games, and go on to take down the highly talented Boston Celtics squad, it speaks major volume. And now in the NBA finals. Pushing LeBron James and Anthony Davis to six games, barring injuries from 2 of your 3 best players. This team may not be raising the Larry O’Brien trophy tonight, but they should be holding their pride up high.