The Miami Heat came into Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers facing a 1-0 deficit and down two of their top players, as Bam Adebayo (neck) and Goran Dragic (foot) were both ruled out ahead of Friday’s game. The Heat countered by putting Meyers Leonard and Tyler Herro in the starting lineup and looked to get other role players such as Kelly Olynyk involved.
The Lakers held a 14-point lead to close the first half, but the Heat did everything they could to keep the game within reach. Midway through the third quarter, the Lakers’ lead swelled to 18 points and the game looked to be out of reach for the Heat. Players looked tentative at points of the contest and appeared overwhelmed by Los Angeles’ offense.
With the game hanging in the balance, the captain stood up and had something to say.
Heat lifer Udonis Haslem, who played just 44 minutes in the 2019-20 regular season and has yet to enter a game this postseason, emphatically tried to motivate the rest of his teammates. Haslem, 40, urged them to play harder and called out their lack of effort at points during Game 2.
NBA stars Dwyane Wade and CJ McCollum took notice of Haslem and shared their appreciation for the veteran on Twitter.
The motivational speech worked to a degree, as the Heat cut the lead to nine late in the third quarter.
It wouldn’t be enough, as the Lakers’ star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 65 points in the 124-114 win.
After the game, Wade was appreciative of the improved effort and was hopeful his former team will find a way to make it a competitive series.
Now down 2-0 and with the Heat running out of options in the best-of-seven series, Jimmy Butler joked that maybe Haslem should do the “cussing out” a bit sooner moving forward.
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