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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

How to Watch NBA Finals Game 1 Live between Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Preview, Betting Odds

How to Watch NBA Finals Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis and the LA Lakers take on Jimmy Butler in the Miami Heat in the first game of the most unprecedented NBA Finals ever. RHONA WISE/EPA

A lot of hyperbole is thrown around often in sports. Words like unbelievable, other worldly, game-changing, or unprecedented start to lose their meaning after awhile. While the NBA Finals matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat is of this world and of a bubble, this series is absolutely unprecedented. It is the first Finals matchup to feature two teams that didn’t make the playoffs at all in the previous year. There are only four teams that have done this before, let alone meeting in the Finals.

By the end of this 2020 Finals, that was in serious jeopardy when everything shut down in March, we just might run out of superlatives to describe how excited we are to even have championship basketball in the first place. Other crazy stats of this matchup include the Miami Heat being the first fifth seed to make the Finals. There has been an 8th seed (1998-99 Knicks) but they lost. The lowest seed to win was the 6th seed 1994-95 Houston Rockets.

But maybe the craziest stat is that LeBron James has now been to more Finals than 27 other teams. Only the Lakers, Celtics and Warriors have more appearances than King James. Let’s see how LeBron matches up with the franchise that he won his first ring with.

What TV Channel is Heat-Lakers on?

Heat-Lakers will be shown on ABC and ESPN Deportes at 8:30 p.m. ET. You can live stream the NBA Finals on fuboTV.

How to Watch Game 1 Heat-Lakers

When: Wednesday, September 30
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – Bay Lake, FL
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch NBA free with fuboTV)

*Game availability may be subject to your area

For the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, it mostly came down to a rested club taking advantage of a team that had to come back from two 3-1 deficits in the Denver Nuggets. They got there by keeping the Nuggets big man, Nikola Jokić, in relative check. Even Dwight Howard seemed to roll back the clock ten years and played well enough against the Nuggets’ Center to earn a start. The Nuggets simply had to rely too much on their best player, Jamal Murray, to win. He was injured and played the most minutes out of anyone in the 2020 playoffs. For the Nuggets to get back next year, they’re going to need a legitimate third superstar. Michael Porter is close and maybe with more development, the Nuggets can finally realize their Finals dreams.

It’s what happened so many times in LeBron Jame’s playoff history. The team would have to rely on him too much and they couldn’t get as far as they wanted. That hasn’t happened to LeBron that much in these playoffs. They have dominated their competition and Anthony Davis has taken over and is the heir apparent of the Lakers in the coming years. He was able to take over, winning Game 2 on a last second buzzer beater.

The Lakers best two players are so great, they don’t need a big three. The Lakers will be the favorites in this series because of their stars but also getting good rim protection from Howard and playoff Rondo always shows up who is making his third NBA Finals. There is more depth on this team than in Miami, and the Lakers seem like a team of destiny. With the tragedy this franchise has faced, they are channeling the mantra of the late great Kobe Bryant, knowing the job is not finished. If they win this Finals, they will be tied with the Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history.

Game 1: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds

Heat Odds: +5
Lakers Odds: -5
Money Line: Heat +175 – Lakers -200
Over/Under: 217

For Miami, the general consensus was they were supposed to beat the Indiana Pacers in the opening round and that was about it. They did so much more by dominating the back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks and handling the favored Boston Celtics. They did this because their best player, Jimmy Butler, didn’t have to do everything. He never once led the team in scoring in the Eastern Conference Finals.

His leadership was essential to the accession of Bam Adebayo and rookie Tyler Herro, both exceptional Kentucky products. The later scored 37 in a decisive Game 4 which was the most points scored by a player 20 or younger in the playoffs since Magic Johnson scored 42 in the 1980 NBA Finals. The leadership and determination to win of Butler and coach Erik Spoelstra will keep the Heat in this series.

Butler will have to score the most points in a game if they expect to win the series. Adebayo single handedly won Game 1 of the ECF with his magnificent block. He is the key to boxing out AD and LeBron out of the paint and forcing the team to shoot beyond the arc. It’s not impossible for the Lakers stars, but it’s not preferable. The Heat will shock some people (heck they’ve already shocked their way to the Finals) but the dominance of LeBron and AD will matchup with what has seemed destined when Bryant passed in January. They honor his legacy and win the most unprecedented (Bubble) Finals ever, 4-2.

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