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NBA Finals 2020

NBA Finals 2020: What to watch for in Game 3 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat

The Los Angeles Lakers have imposed their will throughout the first two games of the 2020 NBA Finals to build a 2-0 series lead over the Miami Heat.

Now, Miami must prepare itself for a must-win situation to avoid falling into an insurmountable deficit.

Here are two things to keep an eye on in Game 3.

A Finals MVP subplot?

Through two games, one thing has been painfully clear: the Heat have no answer for Anthony Davis.

In a historically dominant performance, AD finished Game 2 with 32 points (on 15-for-20 shooting) and 14 rebounds in 39 minutes of action. In NBA Finals history, only Shaquille O'Neal has shot a better field goal percentage when attempting 20 or more shots.

Now, Davis is averaging 33.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 63.4% from the field and 60% from deep.

MORE: Is AD the runaway favourite for Finals MVP thus far?

Not to be outdone, Davis' superstar teammate, LeBron James, is averaging 29.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists through two games, doing so while shooting 54.8% from the field and hitting 41.7% of his 12 3-point attempts.

LeBron is on record saying the beauty of the dynamic between these two is the fact that they're not jealous of one another, meaning the relationship the two have both on and off the court is mutually beneficial.

That being said, if Los Angeles is to inch closer to a title with a win in Game 3, more questions will arise surrounding which player is more deserving of the Finals MVP.

We know neither player will be jealous of one another, so it's not about that, but it's almost a foreign concept to think a team featuring LeBron could win a title and LeBron wouldn't be named MVP. He was runner-up during the regular season and, in 2015, almost was named Finals MVP in a losing effort.

Since there's so much basketball left to be played, we could see AD slightly come back down to earth while LeBron taps into another gear; it's just as likely that we see LeBron continue to perform at this level while AD continues to dominate, which would warrant MVP consideration.

While it would be historic either way (especially for LeBron), it's safe to say that the duo's chief focus is to make history with two more wins. They'll be fine with how the chips fall after that.

Does Miami have one more surprise left?

The Heat weren't supposed to make it this far.

At the beginning of the year, many were unsure if this was even a playoff team. Once it became clear Miami would be competing in the postseason, many questioned how far it could actually go. People knew the Heat were a tough team, but were they a winning team?

After Jimmy Butler's proclamation that the Heat were title ready this year, many shrugged his words off as overconfidence, only for Miami to go 12-3 on the way to making its first Finals appearance in six years.

It's a product of who this team is. You can't ever count them out.

Now down 2-0 in the NBA Finals, this Heat team faces more adversity than it has all postseason. As if facing two of the league's top five talents in James and Davis wasn't tough enough, the Heat were quickly forced to do it without two key starters in Goran Dragic and Adebayo.

But I get the feeling we still shouldn't count them out.

Adebayo is out once again but we do know that this gritty Heat team has performed at its best when counted out and written off. It shouldn't be a surprise that a team with a collective chip on its shoulder performs at its best when given extra motivation to do so.

Game 3 is now or never, and this scrappy team will come out of the gates with an even greater sense of desperation. By now, we know to not count them out until it's over. This next game is no different.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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