The Miami Heat came out on fire to start Game 1 of the NBA Finals, at one point holding a 13-point lead in the first quarter, but the Lakers swiftly erased that lead and managed to exit the first with a three-point advantage. From there, things only got worse for Miami as the Lakers were unstoppable offensively and ran out to a 17-point halftime advantage.
To make matters worse, the Heat saw two of their best players suffer injuries. Jimmy Butler rolled his left ankle late in the second quarter, but managed to stay in the game. Goran Dragic played just 15 minutes in the first half before he exited, and the team announced in the third quarter that he was doubtful to return due to a left foot injury.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 1, 2020
It was initially unclear exactly when the injury happened — ESPN would go back and show a play in which he appeared 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.
Close up on Dragic’s injury pic.twitter.com/G1O5KvtLRk
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 1, 2020
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.
UPDATE 1: 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.
I’m hearing Dragic is likely done for the series.
Working to 100% confirm but not looking good from what I’m told.
— Greg Sylvander (@GregSylvander) October 1, 2020
Can confirm @GregSylvander report that Goran Dragic injury is not promising.
Likely plantar fascia issue. @5ReasonsSports
— Ethan J. Skolnick of @5ReasonsSports (@EthanJSkolnick) October 1, 2020
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.
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic is receiving an X-Ray on his left foot, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 1, 2020
UPDATE 2: Numerous reports say Dragic has suffered a plantar fascia tear in his foot and his status for the rest of the series is uncertain, with the team not ruling out his return.