We are now down to the final two teams in the NBA playoff bubble. Those two teams are the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers. The two franchises combine for a total of 35 NBA Finals appearances and 19 championship banners. Miami Heat team executive Pat Riley and current Lakers forward LeBron James have stints with the two franchises competing in the finals this season.
Riley coached the Lakers from 1981 through 1991, and James played with the Heat from 2010 through 2014. The Miami Heat head into this series as the expected underdog, but what they have accomplished so far during the restart cannot be ignored. The Heat became the first seed lower than four to advance to the NBA Finals since the New York Knicks did it back in 1999.
They resemble a team that has Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra’s character, which is grit, hard work, and an unwilling desire to win the game at all costs. The decision to sign Jimmy Butler is turning out to be the free-agent acquisition of the year. The entire team will have their work cut out for them as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers. They must continue their joint-effort approach to take down the Lakers in this series successfully.
It will be a difficult task because LeBron James is on a different level right now when it comes to performances in the postseason. On paper, the Heat looks like the better overall team, especially with how Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo have been playing lately. Herro, Adebayo, and Butler must counter any type of offensive output that the combination of LeBron James and Anthony Davis may bring in this year’s NBA Finals.
They must also be on the lookout for what veteran point guard Rajon Rondo can add to this series. Rondo has played in these types of situations before and has a strong rapport with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Regarding the Heat’s opponent, the L.A. Lakers, the goal is simple: to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to the city of Los Angeles.
The Lakers were doubted by many analysts around the league to not make it to the Finals due to the restocking of the Clippers roster after they signed Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George. However, the Lakers did not have to face the new-look Clippers in the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers lost against the Denver Nuggets in the semi-final round of the postseason.
The Lakers’ game plan to win this series is simple: for the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James to continue their exceptional performances that we have seen in the previous series. Their defense must also minimize the amount of damage Tyler Herro can do behind the three-point line.
Herro and Adebayo have demonstrated that they can carry the load for the Heat if Jimmy Butler is having an off night. For this year’s NBA Finals prediction, Sports Talk 365 believes that the trio of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo will not be able to continue their style of play against the Lakers in this series. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will go out on top as world champions of the 2019-2020 season.
Lakers win series 4-2