NBA Finals Recap
Sam Kirk is joined by Charles Murray, Matthew McLaughlin, and Michael Merendino to discuss the results of the NBA Finals. They discuss the x-factors that LeBron James and Anthony Davis worked with to capture the Lakers' 17th title and the future of the Miami Heat, as well as overall takeaways from the playoff bubble.
The King reigns once again.
The Los Angeles Lakers hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the 17th time in franchise history on Sunday. They were led by the 2020 NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, who finished off the Miami Heat with a triple-double in Game 6, including 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. James’ fourth title gives him the most among active players.
This was no ordinary season for these Lakers, full of ups and downs and the criticism from last year’s failures. The great minds and clutch performances are what paved the way for the Lakers in 2020.
Anthony Davis got his first taste of what a championship felt like on Sunday night, and from the looks of it, he very well may be in the same position next year. Davis’ 19 points and 15 rebounds were enough to anchor the Lakers defense and extend the lead the Lakers got early in Game 6.
The former Pelican forward is now set to enter free agency after this 2020 season. Many would be shocked to see Davis move on from the purple and gold. The chemistry that he has developed with James seems unmatched.
Once the basketball gods decide it is time for James to hang it up, this should be Davis’ team and franchise for the taking. Davis will be ready for that opportunity after learning from the late great Kobe Bryant and his current sidekick James on what it means to be a Laker.
Just a year removed from a season in which James missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and Magic Johnson stepped down as the head of basketball operations, many thought Los Angeles was doomed. Instead, contributors like Rob Pelinka, Jeanie Buss and Frank Vogel created a roster full of big veteran personalities and made it work. Dwight Howard was able to win his first NBA title. Rajon Rondo finally climbed all the way back to the finals and was able to affect the game not just with his passing but 3-point shooting. Danny Green was able to win back-to-back titles, and Alex Caruso has emerged as a solid player in this league after many years in the G League. This Lakers season was about everyone involved getting their respect, helping to bring one of the most storied franchises in sports back on top.
The Heat’s Cinderella story ended on Sunday when they were outscored by 20 points in the second quarter. After fending off James and the Lakers in Game 5 to extend the series, Miami just looked gassed in Game 6. Even with the return of their leading playoffs scorer Goran Dragic, the Heat came out flat, and the Lakers made sure they slammed the door.
The Miami Heat surprised just about everyone during their dramatic run through the Eastern Conference. The professionalism and culture that both Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have built is something that players strive for. Jimmy Butler has been on three teams so far in his career. A player with his intensity, mental toughness and stubbornness to never give up should succeed anywhere. That was not the case, and he had major problems with coaches both in Minnesota and Philadelphia. But he found his perfect match in 2020 landing in Miami.
Butler was able to help young players like Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson emerge quickly. He also was able to create everlasting relationships with veterans who never really were on great teams such as Dragic. The Heat may not have overcome their 75-to-1 preseason odds to win the title, but they have proved that Miami will be a top-tier spot for future big-name free agents to sign in the future.
In one of the most unconventional seasons ever, Adam Silver has somehow found a way to always make it work. Other professional leagues are having a difficult time making sure all games are played. But the NBA is becoming a model for other leagues. On top of that, Silver is continuing to improve the game and bring in a younger audience. As fans, we have only seen a glimpse of the potential talent this league has. It seems like a bright future is ahead for the NBA.
Sam Kirk is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.