The NBA Finals matchup between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers is starting to get a little heated and that was clear in Game 5. Pretty much everybody had written off Miami and thought the series was already over. The Lakers even decided to wear their Mamba jerseys which they had been undefeated while wearing in the playoffs prior to Game 5.
That didn’t sit well with the Heat and Jae Crowder had some strong words for the Lakers after the game.
“You’re hearing how they’re putting the black jerseys on and sh** and how they haven’t lost a game in those and people start talking about that. That is motivation, and it’s always going to get under your skin a little bit,” Crowder said, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “You obviously funnel that in the right direction and use it as motivation and it definitely helped tonight.”
The Lakers played hard and had a chance to win at the end of the game so it’s not that they were necessarily underestimating the Heat. However, it’s clear that the series isn’t over yet.
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Lakers Already Had Plans Had They Won
While the Lakers did play a decent game, it’s hard not to imagine that they were looking forward to their victory celebration. The bubble hasn’t been easy for them and the idea of being free has definitely been on their minds. Haynes reported that the team was already making plans for their celebration had they won:
The Lakers had made arrangements to celebrate at Three Bridges Bar & Grill, a popular dining establishment located on an island in the heart of a lake at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
“They’re a great team and they’ve proven that. You have to respect them,” Heat center Meyers Leonard told Yahoo Sports. “I wasn’t aware of what they planned to do had they won, but we’re just a team that’s not willing to go home right now.”
Nobody should hold it against the Lakers for making arrangements. The players and coaching staff probably had very little to do with that. They’re still the favorites to win the series but they do need to do their job to finish things off.
Crowder Not Ready to Leave Bubble
The Lakers and Heat have been in the bubble since early July and it’s had to have taken a toll on them. Both teams were very close to being free of the bubble on Friday but Miami had different ideas. Crowder doesn’t mind staying a few extra days if it means winning a title.
“It’s only four days left,” Crowder said, per Haynes. “To throw it all away just because it’s at the end and you want to get out of here, it’s not worth it. We put a lot of work into this. We’re four days away. If we’ve been here for 90-plus days, you can do five more days.”
LeBron and the Lakers definitely don’t feel the same way and the faster they get out of the bubble, the better.