The Miami Heat’s chances of turning the tables on the Los Angeles Lakers took a hit with Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic officially listed as “doubtful” for Monday’s (Manila time) Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Star center Adebayo and high-scoring guard Dragic both missed game two on Friday with injuries suffered in the Heat’s Game 1 defeat.
Adebayo has a neck strain and Dragic has a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Their absence leaves a big void for the Heat, who will be trying to avoid falling into an 0-3 hole in the best-of-seven championship series.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before game two that both players were eager to return to action.
“They are warriors and are continuing to try to lobby, but they just need rest, recovery, and treatment and that’s the only course of action right now,” Spoelstra said.
Star forward Jimmy Butler said after Game 2 that Dragic and Adebayo were lobbying to play “every second before the game” but added that the pair’s teammates backed the decision to keep them sidelined.
“Yeah, we need those guys, we want those guys out there with us. But it’s just bigger than basketball,” Butler said. “We want them to have a long career and whenever they do get back in this series, we want them to be ready to go.”
Miami’s star rookie Tyler Herro, like Butler and Spoelstra, remained confident that the Heat can respond, regardless of who is on the floor.
“We have two options: We can fold and we can fight, like the Miami Heat do,” Herro said. “We know what kind of team we are. We know what we’re capable of, and next game we’re going to have to fight and make some plays.”