Let’s look at some things to keep an eye on for the remainder of the games in the NBA Finals.

Defensive Matchups

The Miami Heat are a good young team, but they have a very notable weakness. They have various bad defensive matchups against the Lakers. 6’6 Jae Crowder is guarding 6’10 Anthony Davis, and that alone is a big mismatch in favor of Los Angeles. This is a consequence of having another big man on the court, like Dwight Howard or JaVale McGee because it makes Miami’s big man Bam Adebayo guard them instead of Davis.

Photo: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Another mismatch that we will constantly see throughout the series are the ones that LeBron James create through screens. In-game one James made the defense switch many times, and that ended with LeBron being guarded by Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro. Both of these young players are great three-point shooters but struggle in defense, especially against a player like LeBron James who is too big and strong for them.


The Miami Heat Will Play More Zone Defense

Because of all these bad defensive matchups that can be created, the Heat will play some possessions in a 2-3 zone. This concept allows the Heat to hide some of the bad individual defense and allow the team as a whole to try to stop the Lakers’ offense.

How do you attack this type of defense? Shooting threes from the corner just like happened in game 1. KCP came big with two threes when the Lakers were down early in the game, and the Lakers as a team were really hot from downtown. They went 11 from 17 from three in the first half, and that will be really difficult to replicate. If the Lakers cool down from three then the zone defense can be more successful.


Injuries

It was a shame to watch two of the most important Heat players to go down with an injury. Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo hurt their feet and neck respectively, and are doubtful for game 2.

This will probably mean that we will see more of Kendrick Nunn and maybe Meyers Leonard for the Heat. Let’s see how the Lakers game plan changes if the Heat rotation changes too.


Featured Image: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
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