To start Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat came out on fire, at one point landing a 13-point lead in the first quarter, but the Lakers quickly erased that lead and succeeded to exit the first with a three-point advantage.
From there, things only got shoddier for Miami as the Lakers were overwhelming offensively and ran out to a 17-point halftime advantage.
The Heat had matters worse as they saw two of their best players suffer injuries. Jimmy Butler rolled his left ankle late in the second quarter, but coped to stay in the game. Goran Dragic played just 15 minutes in the first half before he left, and the team declared in the third quarter that he was unsure to return due to a left foot injury.
It was firstly unclear exactly when the injury happened — ESPN would go back and show a play in which he seemed to step on Rajon Rondo’s foot in the second quarter — but it’s a huge blow to a Miami team that struggled mightily to create offense in his absence.
Dragic has averaged 20.9 points per game in the playoffs and his elevated play has been a significant reason for the Heat’s run through the Eastern Conference to the Finals. A comeback in Game 1 seems unlikely, particularly if Dragic is unable to return, but maybe more important will be the status of Dragic and Butler’s health moving forward as they desperately need both to be able to play major minutes to have a chance with the Lakers.
Now, there is reportedly concern that Dragic’s Finals are over almost as quickly as they have begun, as Greg Sylvander and Ethan Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports have been told it’s a potential planter fascia issue the point guard is dealing with.
Dragic is currently having X-rays on that foot, with an MRI likely to follow on Thursday, but for now Miami is fearing the worst.