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Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic emotional about being unable to help teammates in Finals

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2-min read

Miami Heat starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic haven’t played in the NBA Finals since Game 1 due to injuries and it hasn’t been easy on the stars.

They each explained the mental toll to media on Monday after they watched their teammates win Game 3. The Heat trail the Los Angeles Lakers, 2-1, in the Finals.

Adebayo: Dream of playing in Finals and can’t

Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo and coaches lean over the sideline table while looking off the photo.
Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo are both dealing with the mental aspect of missing the NBA Finals due to injury. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Adebayo, 23, has shoulder and neck strains suffered in Game 1. The center had hoped to play on Sunday, telling Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes after a 124-114 Game 2 loss, “Yes, I believe I’ll be in the lineup.”

Instead he was ruled out and remained on the sideline. Adebayo told media on a video call he missed only one game since his rookie season in 2017-18, “so I don’t like missing games.”

“If you’re wondering if I’m really injured, then there you go. I’ve played through bruises, I’ve played through getting beat up, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, I make it to my first Finals and it’s like, bro, we dream of things like that. It’s been difficult for me mentally because it hurts me that I can’t be out there to help my team just try to collect more wins and be on the floor.”

Adebayo said he’s “getting better,” but his status is day-to-day.

Dragic: Everything has a purpose

Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia in his left foot in Game 1. It’s a serious injury that can take weeks to fully heal. It wasn’t surprising that the point guard missed the next two games, but the Heat haven’t yet ruled him out for the series.

“It’s not the easiest thing right now for me to sit down on the sideline and watch my team. How they’re battling, how they’re playing well and of course I want to be out there,” Dragic told media. “But yeah, I don’t know. Most of the time I ask myself, I ask the guy above us why it has to happen right now. It’s tough. It’s tough. Try to look at this so everything is with a purpose so we’ll see.”

He said there’s no timetable for his return.

Jimmy Butler had a massive triple-double of 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds to lift the Heat from dropping into a 0-3 series deficit. They won Game 3, 115-104, and LeBron James walked off the court out of frustration with 10 seconds left.

The NBA Finals continue with Game 4 on Tuesday and Game 5 on Friday.

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