The Los Angeles Lakers have won the NBA championship for the first time in 10 years, with LeBron James being named the MVP of the finals. While we do have a NBA champion, the season was far from normal. They won in 6 games against the Miami Heat, who overcame some of the best teams in basketball just to get into the finals. In their first series, the Heat swept the Indiana Pacers in 4 games to move on to play the Milwaukee Bucks, who many thought had what it took to get to the finals. The Heat surprised everyone beating the Bucks in just five games, earning their spot in the eastern conference finals. They beat the Boston Celtics in 6 games fighting their way into the finals.
On the Lakers way to the championship they beat the Portland Trail Blazers in 5 games in their first series. They went on to beat the Houston Rockets in 5 games as well and faced the Denver Nuggets in the western conference finals. The Nuggets overcame back to back 3 to 1 deficits against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers before losing to the Lakers in 5 games once again.
In game 1of the finals, the Lakers trounced the Heat winning by 18 points, and during the game 2 of the Heat’s star players, Will Bam Abedayo and Gordon Dragic, were injured. It seemed like a losing battle for the Heat, especially playing against two of the sport’s best athletes in Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The Lakers won game two, this time winning by 10 points. In game 3 however, Jimmy Butler displayed an outstanding performance with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists for a triple double leading the Heat to an 11 point victory. Game 4 was a very close game throughout with the teams exchanging leads before the Lakers came out on top by 6 points. Game 5 was a fantastic game that was close from start to finish. The Lakers were down 1 point with the last possession and they were unable to score leading to the Heat winning the game. In game 6 the Lakers blew away the Heat jumping off to a 28 point lead at the half, a 36 point lead after the 3rd quarter, and holding off an early fourth quarter charge from the Heat to win the NBA finals. Though we have an NBA finals champion like any other year, the season this year was far from normal.
Due to COVID-19 the NBA was forced to operate within a “bubble” in Orlando, Florida. All of the athletes, coaches, refs, and other staff lived at Walt Disney World in Orlando with no connection to the outside world. They played all of the games at only 3 different arenas and the players in staff were able to stay in 3 different hotels as well. Personnel were tested multiple times before entering to ensure the virus didn’t enter the bubble.
“Upon arrival at the NBA bubble, every player, coach and staff member had to self-isolate in their rooms for up to 48 hours until they received two negative COVID-19 tests,” according to sportingnews.com.
Twenty-two total teams lived in the bubble when the season first resumed, but that number dwindled down throughout the playoffs.
While the 2020 NBA season may not have been a normal season, it was still a very special championship for the Lakers. LeBron James was named the finals MVP and he put on a performance in game 6 with a triple double to propel the Lakers to winning the finals. He was all over the court and always ready on the defensive and offensive ends.
“I put myself, my body and my mind in position to be available to my teammates,” said finals MVP LeBron James following game 6. “I’ve never missed a playoff game in my career, and the best thing you can do for your teammates is be available.”
This was also the first NBA finals since legendary Laker, Kobe Bryant, passed away in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020, further expressing how special this finals was to the Lakers. The Lakers have to be proud of a phenomenal season, and will have a great chance to make a run at the finals once again next year.
Leo is a sophomore at San Marcos…