The Lakers are just one game away from victory and, while the Heat will put up a fight, Los Angeles will wrap up title number 17 tonight, says Dave Gray...
"Los Angeles are grabbing 8.5 more per game and when they already have the best two players in the series in James and Davis, it is too much for Miami to overcome."
Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers
Saturday, 02:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
Lakers one away
A season that's been one of the most bizarre we are ever likely to see could come to an end tonight. The Lakers are just one win away from a 17th NBA Championship.
The series looked like it wouldn't even make it this far when Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic went down in game one but the Heat have shown the same fight that got them to the final. It just hasn't been enough against the bigger and frankly better team.
LeBron James has been so consistent through these finals. He has had at least 25 points, eight assists and nine rebounds in every single game. Anthony Davis also bounced back with a big performance last time out after a rare down night in game three.
Lakers outrebounding Heat at historic rate
The big difference between these two teams throughout the series has been rebounding. The Lakers have just dominated Miami - even when Adebayo has been out there. They are bigger and more physical and the Heat just haven't had an answer for it.
Los Angeles are grabbing 8.5 more per game and, when they already have the best two players in the series in James and Davis, it is too much for Miami to overcome. It would be the biggest margin since 1984 if it finished at the same number.
Great run shows Miami can be force in future
The Heat's one win came when Jimmy Butler went off and put up 40. Without that sort of individual performance it is hard to see how Miami extend the series beyond game five, let alone win three straight to steal the championship. The loss of Dragic has given them fewer options on offence and against the strong Lakers defence it has been tough for them to play the sort of basketball that has got them to the finals.
It is no disgrace that Miami are behind here. The Lakers are an excellent team and when the NBA returned not many would have put the Heat in the finals. The Bucks, Celtics and Raptors all would have been favoured but this young Miami team have shown that they can be a force as they develop in the coming years.
Miami have shown a lot of heart throughout these playoffs, but this series has just been one too far. They will certainly put up a fight but the Lakers talent and physicality will once again be the difference. The Lakers can get it done tonight and start celebrating a fantastic title win.
Dave Gray's Regular Season NBA 2019/20 P/L