LeBron James

The Heat are just trying to play well enough to avoid a sweep, because their fate in the NBA Finals appears helpless

Their culture and pride ensured that wouldn’t happen, but this NBA Finals matchup has turned into a “what if” series as the Lakers again coasted to a 124-114 victory without really being challenged.

But general manager Rob Pelinka also surrounded those two with capable shooters, a still nimble and effective Dwight Howard at center, and a rejuvenated Rajon Rondo, who burned the aggressive Miami zone with three 3-pointers.

If you’re wondering how the Lakers are handling the Miami zone so well to combine for 240 points in the first two games, there’s really two reasons: James running the baseline and Davis in the middle.

Without Bam Adebayo, who missed the game because of a neck strain, the Heat had no one to adequately defend Davis, so he dominated in the paint.

Goran Dragic missed the game after tearing his plantar fasciia while Adebayo begged to play but was denied by coach Erik Spoelstra.

Miami actually played a strong second half – shooting nearly 58 percent and getting to the free throw line 19 times – but it hardly mattered because the Heat couldn’t consistently get defensive stops.

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