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Now that the NBA Finals matchup is set, it’s time to discuss what needs to be done in order to win this series. Specifically, what do the Miami Heat need to do to upset the favored Los Angeles Lakers?
Not that they need any additional motivation but they will be a heavy underdog against Los Angeles. But to underestimate this Heat team would a huge mistake. They have grit, fortitude and a fighting mentality that will keep this series competitive throughout. Miami will not back down from a challenge.
Keys To The Series:
On offense, Miami will need to be efficient from the three point line. They have the players capable of getting hot from downtown in Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic. This will be vital in nullifying the Lakers’ size advantage and open up the court. With that being said, the Heat can not strictly be a perimeter shooting team.
The benefit of spreading the floor is creating driving lanes to the basket, specifically for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Getting to the free throw line is important, too. Especially for a team that shoots a high percentage. This can halt an opponent’s run or extend a lead. The other thing for Miami is they must take care of the ball and have low turnovers.
On defense, the Heat must do three critical things: get back in transition defense, stay out of early foul penalty situations and stay close in the rebounding department. Los Angeles thrives on getting out in transition to get easy baskets and open looks for the “others.” Miami must not only get back but also locate where their man is.
The Lakers are very good at creating fouls and getting to the line. So playing defense without fouling will be essential to staying out of the penalty. They have to force Los Angeles to make perimeter shots.
Since the Lakers have a decided size advantage, the Heat must gang rebound to keep the margin close (especially keeping them off the offensive boards). Miami not only has players who can flat out get after it on defense with Butler, Adebayo, Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Derrick Jones Jr. but they are versatile enough to guard multiple positions.
Whichever team’s role players provide the best support to their stars will determine this series. The Lakers will need a combination of Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to have some impact each game. For the Heat, it will be up to Herro, Dragic, Robinson or Kelly Olynyk to provide that extra boost needed to win this series.