Following a great start of Game 1 of the NBA Finals by the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers tightened up on the defensive end and dominated the rest of the game at will.
The final score of 116-98 doesn't reflect how lopsided Game 1 was. The Lakers were all over the court on both ends of the floor and were - by far - the best team on the hardwood. At times, it felt more like a first-round matchup between a 1st and 8th seed than an NBA Finals series.
That's why ESPN's Stephen A. Smith believes the Miami Heat are on the verge of being swept. They were outhustled, outcoached, outplayed. Now, they're against the ropes:
"Oh, they're in a lot of trouble. They're on the verge of getting swept if they don't get their act together. The level of domination that you saw from the Los Angeles Lakers tonight should tell you the story. Miami goes on a 13-0 run, jumps to a 23-10 lead and then the next thing you know, they end up getting outscored like 55 to 25. At one point, they were outscored by 40 over the course of two and a half quarters (...) and when something like that happens there have been times in NBA history where (...) the Lakers have been able to come back and win the NBA Finals after losing Game 1 by 40. But this Miami Heat don't resemble those Lakers in any kind of way whatsoever. It almost looks like it was a nice run, we applaud you for your efforts but it ends now. That's the kind of beatdown they got tonight (...) we fearful that a sweep is imminent," Smith said.
The Heat have proven to be a resilient and hard-fighting team with the ability to bounce back from this kind of beating. However, the fact that they'll be forced to play with a banged-up Bam Adebayo and with Goran Dragic on the shelf makes it quite difficult for them.
We can be sure that they'll fight with bones and nails and won't go down without a fight but if Game 1 is any indication of what may happen in the rest of the series, then yeah, they're in big trouble.