One anonymous NBA executive doesn't think the Miami Heat, who beat the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, have much of a chance against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.
"I do not see Miami getting two games in this series," the source told The Athletic's Josh Robbins. "I think L.A. is just playing too well and has too much defensive potency, and LeBron will impose his will and will be able to score enough points to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to Tinseltown."
Robbins asked an NBA scout, coach and executive to predict the Finals winner, with all three picking Los Angeles.
The Miami Heat showed great depth in the Eastern Conference Finals series with Boston, with Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro all contributing alongside Bam Adebayo. But for the Heat to pass the Lakers lineup of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma, they will have to be switched on for every second of every game.
While the anonymous executive didn't give Miami much credit, the coach interviewed by Robbins said he thinks Miami will force six games on the Lakers before giving way to LeBron and his fourth championship:
"Miami, they are very, very tough to beat. They don't blow sets, they don't turn the ball over and they're very tough to execute on. So the Lakers are going to have their hands full. But what we're witnessing right now from LeBron James after (his) 17 years (in the NBA makes me think) that his leadership and experience is a deciding factor."
The scout interviewed noted the Lakers' speed, and thinks that the Heat will be able to hold their own if they force a zone defense on their opponent while driving the ball toward the hoop.
"The pace of the game will be key for Miami: keeping the Lakers at a trot rather than (a sprint)," the scout said. "They’ve got to slow the game down."
The Heat are the undoubted underdogs as they take on the Lakers in the NBA Finals, with Game 1 on Wednesday.