Not long into the third quarter, it was clear the Lakers were going to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals in a rout. The Lakers overwhelmed the Heat, Anthony Davis was dominant inside, then throw in a couple of Miami injuries and it was over in any way that mattered.
Lakers’ bench players were having fun with it but LeBron James snapped at them to get them focused, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. It has started after Dwight Howard made a fourth quarter assist to Anthony Davis, then Howard made a glasses gesture, suggesting he saw the floor clearly.
Davis, Howard and some players on the Lakers’ bench began making the glasses gesture again as they walked to their bench. James didn’t let this celebratory occurrence slide this time.
“Hey, hey! Stop it! Stay locked in!” he shouted at his teammates before entering the huddle. “This s*** ain’t over, man.”
Game 1 was over, but LeBron’s point that the series is far from over seemed to get through. Thursday, on an off day of the Finals, he to echo that point.
“We’re playing against an exceptional basketball team, obviously, great coached,” LeBron said, referencing his former coach Erik Spoelstra. “So we have to continue to understand that coming into Game 2. It was great to get with the guys today earlier and go over the film, and like I said, see things that we can do a lot better, both offensively and defensively.
“They’re going to make adjustments in Game 2, and we need to be ready for that. We can’t come out with the energy that we had in Game 1 and go down 23-10 and expect the same result as we had in Game 1. So we look forward to that challenge.”
LeBron also talked about his team needing to stay focused even if the Heat are without Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo for Game 2, both are listed as doubtful due to injuries (Dragic a torn plantar fascia, Adebayo a shoulder/neck issue).
LeBron brings a level of maturity to this Lakers team, which has veterans but not a lot of championship experience. LeBron understands he may never have a better chance to win a title, and at age 35 he does not want a fourth ring to slip out of his grasp.