Heat injury updates: Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic doubtful for Game 2 of NBA Finals against Lakers

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After a demoralizing loss in Game 1 in which the Los Angeles Lakers looked unstoppable en route to a 116-98 win, the Miami Heat could enter Game 2 down two significant pieces. 

Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo both went down with separate injuries Wednesday night that kept them from returning. Dragic left in the first half with what was later reported as a torn left plantar fascia. Adebayo, originally reported as having a strained left shoulder, had X-rays during the game which came back negative. However, after undergoing an MRI it appears he’s dealing with a neck strain.

The Miami Heat announced Thursday afternoon that Adebayo and Dragic are both listed as doubtful for Game 2 of the NBA Finals Friday night, putting the Heat’s chances of pulling even with the Lakers in jeopardy. Dragic’s injury seems more severe, though the team was not ruling him out for the remainder of the series after the Game 1 loss. He was reportedly able to put some weight on the foot last night, and didn’t leave the arena in a walking boot.

If Dragic is out for Game 2, that could mean more minutes for rookie guard Kendrick Nunn, who did not play significant minutes throughout the postseason despite starting in every regular-season game he played in this year. Nunn stepped in for the injured Dragic in Game 1, and was one of the positive takeaways from the loss, as he put up 18 points on 8 of 11 from the field while the Heat were trying to close the sizable gap in the second half. 

As far as Adebayo goes, there is no replacing him on this team. He’s undoubtedly the most important person on Miami’s roster on both ends of the floor, especially on defense when it comes to guarding Anthony Davis. Without him, the Heat will be incredibly vulnerable in trying to contain Davis as well as LeBron James in Game 2. James was switch hunting all night against guys like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, and without Adebayo to offer some sort of resistance in the paint, LeBron is going to have a green light to the rim. Miami will have to either go small, and use Andre Iguodala as a center, as it did for some stretches against the (much smaller) Celtics, or hope they can get some useful minutes out of Kelly Olynyk. 

Looking past Game 2, though, the Heat can only hope that Adebayo at the very least can come back at full strength in Game 3, because Friday night isn’t looking good for Adebayo or Dragic to make a return. 

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