Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers
This NBA season has been unusual, to say the least. From having it halted last March due to the coronavirus, to the formation of the Disney bubble, Adam Silver and co. should be commended for a job well done.
And now it has come to this – the Los Angeles Lakers are on the brink of returning to glory as they are one win away from their 17th title in franchise history.
However, the job’s not yet finished as they have to win one more match against the gritty Miami Heat.
The Heat are out to make a valiant stand one more time. So far in this Finals series, they have been severely overmatched by the Lakers, and being down 3-1 is never a good scenario by any means.
Can the Heat extend the series for at least one more game? Or will the Lakers finally reclaim what’s theirs after 10 years in the making?
Can the Heat make one last stand?
Miami should be commended for what they’ve achieved this season, but facing a more superior and complete team in Los Angeles has proven to be too much to handle.
While Jimmy Butler has gone bonkers at least in the last few games to try and keep them afloat, he isn’t getting enough support from his other teammates. It doesn’t help either that Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic not in full strength.
Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are the closest to give the Heat life on offence with their outside shooting, but they have been picked on to the other end to negate the positives that they bring.
The one main issue that the Heat had problems is the overwhelming size of the Lakers.
With LeBron James being the Lakers’ point guard and Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard patrolling the paint, the Heat have been outrebounded and punished inside.
In Games 1 and 2, Miami tried to confuse Los Angeles with their zone defence. However, it has backfired because of the offensive rebounds and the second-chance points that they had to give up.
Because of their versatility, the Lakers can switch on defence and not skip a beat, which makes their shooters hesitant to pull the trigger from deep.
Needless to say, the Heat would need to play an almost perfect game while catching the Lakers on an off-night – particularly their role players for them to live and fight another day.
Lakers looking to fulfill their promise
The Lakers bared that they will wear their famed Black Mamba jerseys to potentially clinch the championship on Friday night.
The Frank Vogel-mentored club is currently 4-0 in games that they’ve worn the said jersey. But more importantly, they seem to play with more inspiration whenever they pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.
One of those games was Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets when Anthony Davis knocked down the game-winning three at the buzzer.
“Obviously we’re representing him. It’s his jersey, one he created. Anytime we put it on, we want to win,” said Anthony Davis.
Several things have been going the Lakers way, which is why they are the prohibitive favourites in our NBA 2020 odds.
While LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been spoiling us with numerous NBA 2020 highlights, they have been getting timely contributions from their role players.
Rajon Rondo has been the secondary playmaker that the Lakers needed, while Marcus Morris is quietly leading this NBA Finals with most three-pointers made with 11.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope churned out a fine performance during Game 4, while Alex Caruso brings a lot of energy particularly on the defensive end.
As I said previously, the only way that the Lakers lose is by beating themselves.
But now that they are on the brink, it is likely that they won’t let this one go out of their hands.
Jimmy Butler recently became the fourth player in NBA history to notch at least 20 points and five assists per game in all four Finals matches. He will need to do that and more for the Heat to stay alive.
The Lakers are virtually unbeatable when they lead after three quarters as they are 56-0 all season when it happens.
If the Lakers clinch the title and LeBron James wins Finals MVP, he will be the first-ever player in league history to win the said citation in three different clubs.
What are the odds?
Perhaps we’re headed to the inevitable as the Lakers are expected to win according to the SBOTOP Asian Handicap market.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Lakers will win their first title in 10 years.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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