If you watched Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday night, you know that just watching it was incredible and that not a whole lot needs to be said. The Heat extended everyone’s stay in The Bubble with a 111-108 win, with Jimmy Butler getting the best of LeBron James in a back-and-forth battle for the ages, especially in the final minutes.
If you didn’t watch, just click those links, and shoutout to the NBA for perfectly executing its YouTube page.
While not a lot needs to be said, a few things do require words beyond Mike Breen’s play-by-play.
James absolutely made the right play on the decisive possession. He was triple-teamed driving the lane and Danny Green — a 40 percent career three-point shooter with two rings, including last year with the Raptors — was as socially distanced as anyone has ever been for a potential championship-winning shot.
Green obviously isn’t who you want taking the last shot, but it’s not like we’re talking about a John Starks or Stephen Jackson kind of thing here. Green was 2-for-4 from downtown in the game before that miss.
If you’re looking for someone to really blame for the way it ended for the Lakers, it’s Markieff Morris, who not only failed to find James after he’d gotten back open, but threw a pass so bad for a covered Anthony Davis, he might as well leave The Bubble and take his rightful spot as the Giants’ quarterback on Sunday instead of playing Game 6.
Morris was scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting with three turnovers, four personal fouls, no steals, no assists, and only one rebound — the one before he threw the ball, and the game, away. The good news for him is, the last six times someone had no points and three turnovers in a Finals game (Beno Udrih in 2005, Jason Kidd in 2011, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen in 2013, Harrison Barnes in 2015, Zaza Pachulia in 2017), they were able to forget those performances by winding up with a ring. So maybe he should stay with the Lakers through the series after all… but still consider the Giants, because Daniel Jones really does stink.
You know who doesn’t stink? Butler. Getting even one more night of his playoff run with this Heat team is reason enough to be glad there’s a Game 6. He’s been phenomenal and finally ascending to the level of stardom he deserves.
It’s not often that a top 10 team is a two-touchdown underdog, but No. 7 Miami is just that against top-ranked Clemson, and it doesn’t even feel weird. Of course, nothing feels weird anymore. Saturday’s college football slate also features the Tigers against the Tigers, LSU at Missouri, which was originally scheduled to be Missouri at LSU, but was moved because of Hurricane Delta and now has become LSU’s first three-game SEC road trip since 1957. And if we pretend that Delta is a regular name (hi, Delta Burke!) and not just that they’re this deep into Greek letters after running out of hurricane names, that’s refreshingly normal, right?
This is the second straight Saturday with no baseball. There won’t be any next Saturday, either, unless the ALCS goes seven games or the NLCS goes six. There is going to be baseball on October 24, at least, since that’s the scheduled date for Game 4 of the World Series. It’s mind-blowing that MLB squeezed so many playoff games into weekday afternoons and might wind up with one Saturday game the whole month of October, in a year when they could make the schedule anything they wanted it to be at all. Great job.