National Basketball Association

Over and Out?

October 1, 2020

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers came out in Game 1 and made a monster statement with their 116-98 win against the Miami Heat.

After sleepwalking through the first quarter ⁠— at one point the Lakers were down 23-10 ⁠— the Lakers flipped a switch and doused the Heat for the decisive victory.

As FOX Sports NBA analyst Chris Brossard pointed out immediately following the outcome, Game 1 confirmed what many felt coming into the series: the Lakers were the superior team, and it'd take an epic collapse on their end to open the door for Miami.

"They've got to self-destruct. They've got to beat themselves, for Miami to even have a shot to win this series."

To make matters worse for the Heat, star point guard Goran Dragic suffered a significant foot injury in the loss, while the All-Star combo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo also left the game dinged up.

Dragic's status for Game 2 is dependent on a re-evaluation, according to multiple reports.

Given Los Angeles' performance and the state of the Heat, is this series finished after just one game?

Several pundits believe that to be the case, including Nick Wright, with just the slightest bit of hesitation.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith also sees the writing on the wall for Miami, unless the likes of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Butler start going lights-out from beyond the arc.

"I'll say it right now: it's over. It's over already ... They have to be able to launch, launch from long range. It is their only hope. They have no other hope. There is nothing.

"And that ain't even going to work, but I'm just painting the picture as to what could potentially give them a fighting chance for a few minutes of the game."

Considering the clinic that LeBron and Anthony Davis put on, it's tough to fault the idea that the Lakers winning the series is a foregone conclusion.

The King and AD combined for 59 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists on Wednesday, while shooting 52.7 percent from the floor.

Colin Cowherd posits that the frontcourt matchup is a nightmarish one for the Heat, and it's a matchup that won't change over the course of the next week or so.

"This is a problem. The Lakers front line is huge: 6'10" AD, 6'10" Dwight Howard, 6'9" LeBron. They can bring in JaVale McGee. They are big and long and powerful and veterans. 

"Miami's front line is 6'7" Duncan Robinson, who's a perimeter player, 6'6" Jae Crowder and 6'9" Bam, who's a baby."

It's just one game in the midst of a 7-game series, but the overwhelming sentiment certainly points toward a Lakers triumph.

Perhaps the question now is, how many games will it take for them to get it done?

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