Basketball

NBA Finals Predictions: Heat vs. Lakers

It’s down to the final two teams, two teams that have only suffered three losses each so far in the playoffs. Needless to say, both teams have played hard and deserved their chance at winning a championship for their franchises. Three players involved in this year’s NBA finals have achieved career accolades by reaching this point of the playoffs. Andre Iguodala, of the Miami Heat, will be making his sixth straight Finals appearance. Udonis Haslem, of the Miami Heat, has been involved in every single Finals appearance in the franchise’s history and has now been a part of an NBA finals in three separate decades. Finally, Lebron James, of the L.A Lakers will be making his tenth career Finals appearance and is now the second person in NBA history to win MVP with a franchise and face that same franchise in the Finals later in his career, the first being Wilt Chamberlain who won MVP with the Warriors in 1959-60 and then faced the Warriors in the 1967 Finals as a member of the 76ers. Another interesting fact about this year’s NBA Finals is that it will be the 37th straight year in which a former teammate of Shaq will be in the Finals. Overall, there is a lot of unique NBA history involved in this year’s Finals and will be one for the ages. 

Both teams have their own story surrounding their team so far in the playoffs. We have the Miami Heat, a team with two rising all-stars in Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, who have had very impressive playoff performances so far. Bam has been phenomenal both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, having multiple 20+ point and 10+ rebound performances, along with being a major force on defense, including a major block on Jayson Tatum that secured a key victory for Miami in their series with Boston. In regard to Tyler Herro, he’s been able to achieve more than 10 points in each playoff game so far and has been one of the most clutch three-point shooters in the playoffs, helping Miami cap off many of their wins. 

Jimmy Butler

Finally, for Miami, you have a tough seasoned veteran in Jimmy Butler who so far in the playoffs has been averaging about 20.7 ppg and helping other people’s offense with averaging about 4.7 apg, but the main characteristic that stands out for Jimmy B is his ability to perform in clutch time. Throughout these playoffs, Jimmy has been able to help Miami secure many victories with either a strongly defended jump shot or beneficial free throws. 

Overall, Miami is a team made up of different generations of NBA talent, one being the young players looking to make a name for themselves and help their team in any way they can and the other being veterans who want to achieve one thing before their careers are over, winning a championship. 

On the other hand, we have the L.A Lakers, a team with two solid all-stars that have been the face of the team all season long. One of them being Anthony Davis, one of the most dominant power forwards in the game, averaging a remarkable double-double of 28.8 ppg and 9.3 rpg so far in the playoffs. He also currently leads the active players on the roster with an 81 percent free throw percentage.

Lebron James

 On the other side of the duo is the multi-time MVP Lebron James, who despite being in his 16th season is still dominating on the court by averaging a near triple-double with 26.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, and 8.9 apg. Before the conclusive Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets, Lebron was quoted saying firmly, “I’m gonna end this shit tonight”. A comment like that definitely ensures Lebron is not fooling around and has now activated his killer instinct where he will do anything in his power to bring a championship to Los Angeles. If history tells us anything with Lebron, Miami should be ready for a war. 

A final characteristic about this team is many bench players have figured out how they fit into the puzzle of helping L.A achieve their ultimate goal of winning a championship, whether it’s Rondo being a killer on offense with averaging 7.2 apg or Caldwell-Pope averaging at least 40 percent on three-pointers. Overall, the Lakers are a team that although had many critics at first about being a team that looked like they would not gel in time to make a run in the playoffs, have become a united team that knows what they need to do to win. 

Considering how dominant both these teams have been in their respected conference playoff brackets, it is not easy to pick a winner for this year’s Finals. You have a Miami team that has proven time and time again that even when they fall behind, they will fight to the last second to pull off a win and you have a Lakers team that knows how to be aggressive and take advantage of any opponents weakness to secure a victory. In the end, if one had to pick a team to win, they would most likely have to go with the L.A Lakers in at least 6 games. Although Miami is a resilient team and will most likely secure one or two victories, it stands to reason that the power of the dominant duo of Davis and deadly-focused Lebron will prove too much for this Miami team to handle. The Heat will be a rising force in the league to be reckoned with over the next several years, but the Lakers will win the series 4-2 in this year’s finals.

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