2020 NBA Finals: Lakers and Heat Preview and Predictions

Miami%27s+Jimmy+Butler+and+the+Lakers%27+Lebron+James

Miami’s Jimmy Butler and the Lakers’ Lebron James

Jan Castillo, Sports Editor

As we’re a few hours away from the tip-off of the 2020 NBA Finals, here are few things you should know before tip-off. For starters, this year’s NBA finalist in the Western Conference are the dominant Los Angeles Lakers, and on the other side for the Eastern Conference are the underdog Miami Heat. I know for a fact that no one thought the 5th-seeded Miami Heat was going to run through the Eastern Conference Playoffs that easily. 

NBA releases Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks semifinals NBA playoff series schedule - Hot Hot Hoops
Bam Abeyado and Jae Crowder double-teaming Giannis Antetokounmpo

The challenges they had to go through in the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Boston Celtics were incredible. For instance, they first went up against the Indiana Pacers in the first round where Miami obviously dominated and went 4-0 against them. After that round, everyone was like “okay going they’re against the Milwaukee Bucks they’re going to get swept by them.”

News flash! That shockingly didn’t happen and it actually went the other way around as the Miami Heat was the team that came out on top. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 4-1 and showed the world that the “best team” with the best overall record of the season wasn’t very good. 

While interviewing Alex Vasquez, a senior at BCCHS, I asked him if he knew that the Heat was going to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks that easily and he said, “No, because Giannis is the reining back-to-back MVP and for Giannis, he should’ve been capable of winning that series, but you know who WAS capable of winning that series?…. Jimmy Buckets.”  After that surprising series from the Miami Heat, it was time to face the mighty Boston Celtics who were hungry for a spot at the NBA Finals including winning the 18th championship for Boston. 

The Miami Heat are Finals-bound after beating the Boston Celtics.
The Miami Heat taking pictures after winning the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics

 However, from my point of view, after watching game one, I believed that the Miami Heat was going to go to the NBA Finals. I believed they were going to go to the finals was because I didn’t believe that the Boston Celtics were capable of winning against the underdog Miami Heat–which at the time had only lost one game. It came down for the Celtics to come back from a 3-1 lead after an incredible game from Miami’s Tyler Herro, a rookie that came off the bench and scored 37 points. Although the Boston Celtics did win the next game against the Heat, the Celtics couldn’t catch up in game 6 and they got eliminated by the Miami Heat. Now the Miami Heat are on their way to face LeBron and the Lakers.

On the one hand, in the Western Conference, the dominant Los Angeles Lakers had a record of only losing three games (Miami was also 12-3) and they might be the competition the Miami Heat was looking forward to. For instance, the Lakers are a very dominant team that isn’t afraid of a challenge against anybody. For example, the red-hot Portland Trailblazers were a team that everyone thought that if they made the playoffs, they would defeat the Lakers–even after game one, critics all thought it was over. However, it didn’t go that way–it went the other way around and the Lakers won the next four games against the Trailblazers. 

LeBron James gets a monster chasedown block on Russell Westbrook | Game 1 | Rockets vs Lakers - YouTube
Lebron James making a great defensive block against Russell Westbrook.

Then the same sequence happened with the Houston Rockets. Houston Rockets won the first game and the whole media already started doubting the Los Angeles Lakers again. Next thing you know, the Lakers won the next four games again and advanced to their first Conference Finals since 2010. As you can see, the Lakers were a serious and scary team to go up against in the playoffs. With Lebron James as the leader of your team, you could honestly see yourself going to the NBA Finals without any worries. However, in the Conference Finals, they were again doubted by the media saying the Denver Nuggets were a hungrier team that wanted to advance to NBA Finals more than the Los Angeles Lakers. Overall, at the end of the series, the Los Angeles Lakers came out on top, defeating the Denver Nuggets 4-1 while giving them no hope of another 3-1 comeback as the Los Angeles Lakers dominated game 5 to advance.

Pat Riley Reveals That LeBron James Wanted Erik Spoelstra Fired in 2010
Eric Spoelstra and LeBron James together back in 2014

As we all know, it’s Lakers v.s Heat, and here’s a fun fact–not only is Lebron James returning to the NBA Finals once again, it’s going to be against his former team, the Miami Heat. This makes it more interesting since he used to play for them. Most importantly, he also might be at a disadvantage because of one person. That’ll be his old coach Eric Spoelstra, who used to coach LeBron. For instance, if you think about it, Spoelstra knows how LeBron plays and his weaknesses, so that could be an advantage that the Miami Heat.  Also, the way the Heat are coming out of the Eastern Conference, some say that they look like a team that might give the Lakers a problem in the Finals because of how much chemistry the Heat have together.

So now here’s the big question: who’s going to win the NBA Championship? After interviewing Rychpil Tan, a senior at BCCHS, he stated “As much as I want the Heat to win, I think the other team (Lakers) will in five games.” Alex Vasquez also stated that “Lakers in four because LeBron and AD are going to impact the game and make most of the shots for L.A.  They may have some trouble with Miami because of their shooters, but at the end of the day, with LeBron’s strength and AD’s capability of playing and defending as an all-around player, they will most likely win all 4 games.”  So, as you can see, the Lakers are the most likely to win the NBA Championship; however, you may never know who can win it all because the playoffs are full of twists and turns with lots of surprises.