How LeBron compared Heat, Warriors after Lakers' Game 5 loss


LeBron James has seen a version of this Miami Heat team before.

That statement might seem weird considering the 2019-20 NBA season is Jimmy Butler's first in South Beach. But if you're watching closely, this Heat team has all the trademarks of the Warriors team that went to the NBA Finals five straight seasons and faced LeBron four of those years.

Aside from the veteran savvy of Andre Iguodala, this Heat team and those Warriors teams were ruthless and smart. And both have an uncanny ability to pounce at their opponent's weakest moments.

On Friday night, LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers had a chance to close out the Finals, but the Heat wouldn't bend or break and pulled out a thrilling and stunning 111-108 win in Orlando, Fla. to force a Game 6 on Sunday night.

After the game, LeBron was asked about the Cleveland Cavaliers coming back from a three-games-to-one deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals and if there's anything he can take from that series that will help him and the Lakers close out the Heat.

"Listen, at the end of the day, you don't predetermine anything and you take the game as it's going and you play," LeBron told reporters (H/T Clutch Points). "You play each quarter, you play each possession and you live with the results. You don't think about what could happen at the end of the game and things of that nature. You don't get caught up in the aftermath. You have to live in the moment and prepare yourself each and every possession, because if you start to wander and your mind starts to go, you make a mistake.


"One thing about this team that we are playing, they make you pay for every mistake. It's the same as when I was playing against Golden State all those years, you make a mistake, they make you pay. So we have to understand that."

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LeBron is 100 percent right. The Heat might not be as dominant as those Warriors teams -- very few teams in the history of the NBA can say that. But this Heat team has so many smart, tough players. Iguodala, Butler, Jae Crowder, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are gutsy, gutsy players.

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Everyone remembers the Cavs' comeback against the Warriors in 2016, but the Dubs made the exact same comeback against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals that year. The Warriors had that "never say die" mentality and that's what the Heat have.

Can Miami complete the three-games-to-one comeback just like the Warriors and Cavs in 2016? That's a tall task against LeBron, Anthony Davis and the Lakers. But if the Lakers make more mistakes, the Heat surely will take advantage. Who knows? Maybe they can shock the world and begin a Warriors-like run of NBA Finals appearances.