LeBron James has never been up 2-0 in a Finals series in his entire career. That has all changed this year as this looks like his clearest path to a championship. His teams have never rolled through the playoffs this easily in his career. Maybe the closest performance was when James won his first championship with the Miami Heat over the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. The Heat won that Finals 4-1 but even in the first game of that series, they were beat relatively handedly 105-94. Getting beat handedly is just not happening in these Finals for the Lakers. Really for the entire Bubble Playoffs.
That doesn’t look like it’s going to change much in Game 3 of the 2020 NBA Finals. The Lakers look like a team of destiny. And not because they are saying the right things about the “job isn’t finished”. Kobe Bryant famously said that after being up 2-0 against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Finals. That Lakers team blew out the Magic in Game 1 more than the 2020 Lakers blew out the Heat in Game 1. This newest iteration of the Lakers is a team of destiny because they are internalizing the Mamba mentality to perfection. When they have been up by commanding leads in each of the first two games, they have kept putting on the pressure while never slowing down. With this dedication and the Heat’s abundant injuries, very few would be surprised if this series becomes a sweep and James wins the Finals with his third team.
What TV Channel is Heat-Lakers on?
Heat-Lakers will be shown on ABC and ESPN Deportes at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can live stream the NBA Finals on fuboTV.
How to Watch Game 3 Heat-Lakers
When: Sunday, October 4
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – Bay Lake, FL
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch NBA free with fuboTV)
*Game availability may be subject to your area
LeBron would be only the third player ever to win a championship with three different teams. Robert Horry won seven championships with the Houston Rockets, Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. John Salley won four championships with the Detroit Pistons, Lakers and Chicago Bulls. Of course the difference is neither of those two were the center of their team or the face of the league. The Lakers are not going to get ahead of themselves but we have little problem doing it here. This franchise is on their way to a record tying 17 NBA Championships because of their overpowering defense.
The Lakers are so much bigger than the Heat. This is one of the most physical defenses the league has ever seen. With James, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee there is little opportunity to get anywhere near the basket. The Golden State Warriors in their healthy prime are maybe the only team that could shoot well enough behind the arc to beat this Lakers team. With a comparably much smaller lineup, the Heat have struggled scoring on command the way they rolled through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, let alone stopping this giant Lakers lineup. It feels like we’re watching the Monstars from Space Jam right now.
For the Heat, they actually played better in Game 2 than their Game 1 blowout, even without Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragić. They shot their most efficient game of the playoffs but still lost by 10. It just doesn’t matter much when LeBron and AD shoot 64 percent from the field. The Heat are certainly not out of this series but it’s getting late. If they have any chance of coming back, they are going to need to get healthy, which at this point is a very large ask.
Game 3: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
Heat Odds: -8.5
Lakers Odds: +8.5
Money Line: Heat -400 – Lakers +320
Speaking of large, Adebayo is the Heat’s best defender and biggest player at 6’9″ 255 lbs playing center. LeBron is 6’9″ 250 lbs who is not the Laker’s biggest scoring or defensive option. That’s just a glimpse at the size disadvantage the Heat are in right now. It’s not over but this Finals is starting to look like the 2019 Finals where Toronto beat a injury depleted Warriors team. The difference was that the Warriors were still very much in the series after two games. Maybe a better comparison is the 2017 or even 2018 Finals when you just knew Kevin Durant and the Warriors were going to dominate the Cavs. Either way, the Heat are going to have do something drastic and/or miraculous to get back in this series.