NBA Finals Recap and What Can We Expect For Next Year by Ari F.
The Lakers are finally on top of the NBA, and so is Lebron James. The Lakers defeated the Miami Heat on Sunday, October 11 to take home their 17th championship, tying the Celtics with the most championships in NBA history. The Lakers, led by superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, beat the Heat, who were led by Jimmy Butler and had defeated two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference to get back to the NBA Finals. The road to the 2020 Finals was different than most for these two teams. After the outbreak of Covid-19, the NBA had to shut down for four months, before a bubble was created in Disney World. The NBA returned with 22 of the 32 teams invited to the bubble. After some warm up games, the Heat entered as the 5th seed in the East and the Lakers as the top seed in the West. To get to the finals, the Lakers defeated the Trailblazers 4-1, then the Rockets 4-1, then the Nuggets 4-1. The Heat swept the Pacers, upset the Bucks, the team with the best record in the NBA, and defeated the Celtics in 6 games, to make it to their first Finals since Lebron James joined the team.
The Finals were highly anticipated, with Lebron James facing his former coach and team. The Lakers were the favorites against a young Heat team. Jimmy Butler showed his true talent during the series, posting two triple doubles and leading the Heat in points and assists. He played 180 of 192 potential minutes through four games, displaying true hard work and resilience. The Lakers took the first two games, after Goran Dragic, the Heat’s starting point guard, and Bam Adebayo, their center, both went down in the first game with injuries. This left the Heat short-handed, so they turned to Tyler Herro, a rookie and the youngest player to ever start a Finals. The Heat rebounded by taking Game 3, then lost Game 4. They were down 3-1 in the series, and only one other team had come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. Coincidentally, that team was the 2016 Cavaliers, led by Lebron James. Jimmy Butler put on a show in Game 5, having a triple double to keep their hopes alive. He had 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, while only sitting out one minute of the game. But in Game 6, the Lakers prevailed. LeBron James won his fourth NBA title and Finals MVP, making him the only player to win a Finals MVP on three different teams.
After a non traditional season, many fans are very excited for the upcoming season, expected to begin in January. In the West, the Warriors, after having a down year after five straight Finals appearances, have the second overall pick and a healthy Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They also have young star Andrew Wiggins and veteran Draymond Green. In the battle of LA, the Clippers are looking to recover with new coach Ty Lue, after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets in the second round. The Lakers are looking to repeat with LeBron and Anthony Davis, and the Mavericks are looking scary with duo Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
In the East, the Nets with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Erving, both recovering from injuries, are looking to make a deep playoff run. The Heat are hoping to get back to the Finals, with an amazing young core, Tyler Hero and Duncan Robinson, and stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Jimmy Butler proved he can lead a team, and the Eastern Conference should be afraid of them. And finally, the Bucks. The fate of Giannis Antetokounmpo is unknown. Will the Bucks try to re-sign him, or will Giannis go looking for a championship caliber team? Nobody knows, but we do know that this past NBA season has been wild and unpredictable, but in 2021, something even more crazy could happen.