A four-month layoff and a season completed in the bubble known as the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat that survived the 22-team bubble. They will play for the 2020 NBA title.
The Lakers were expected by many to be here. The Heat, on the other hand, was not. Miami entered the postseason as the No. 5 seed but went on to cruise through the postseason with a 12-3 record. That was the same postseason record of the Heat’s Finals opponent.
Why the LA Lakers Will Win the 2020 NBA Championship
The Lakers are a -340 series favorite and that is no surprise. LeBron James, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, will be looking for his fourth NBA championship. In his 17 th NBA season, James has been nothing but spectacular.
He is averaging 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game. In the deciding Game 5 of the Western Conference finals James put up a triple-double of 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Paired with Anthony Davis (28.8 points, 9.3 rebounds in the postseason), the Lakers have been virtually unstoppable. Despite Miami’s penchant for playing zone defense, the Heat will still have a problem defending the Lakers pick and roll.
Why the Miami Heat Will Win the 2020 NBA Championship?
The Heat not only force a lot of turnovers with their zone defense; they also shoot a tremendous amount of three-pointers. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra and his style of play physically and mentally wear opponents down.
The Heat are definitely not as talented as the Lakers, but they will attempt to break the will of James and company. Miami did that to both Milwaukee and Boston, so don’t be surprised if it happens again.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel has never beaten Spoelstra in a postseason series. Will that trend continue? Spoelstra already owns two NBA titles won in 2012 and 2013 when he had James on his team.
The Lakers offense lives and dies by the pick and roll. James is making most of his shots closer to the basket which is why he is shooting 64 percent on two-pointers in the postseason.
The Heat may counter with trying to go under screens and force James to shoot some longer two- pointers. On long 2s in the playoffs, James is shooting just 24 percent.
The Lakers will have to defend both Jimmy Butler (19.9 ppg in the postseason) and rising star Bam Adebayo who is averaging 18.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in the postseason.
In order to do so, they may have to tweak their lineup. The same could be said of the Heat. Miami is plus-90 in 62 postseason minutes with Adebayo, Butler, and veteran Andre Iguodala on the floor. Iguodala also has experience defending James and does it well.
How Spoelstra manages his player combinations could be the key to the series. Both Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro are the long-range bombers the Heat coach likes to have on the floor. These two guys are great bets on NBA 3-pointer props.
It’s hard to bet against James who has had an outstanding season despite being 35 years of age. He isn’t getting any younger, but he may not be able to will his teammates to victory.
The Heat are a tough nut to crack. The defense is hard to deal with as is the frenetic pace of the offense and its use of the three-pointer.
The Lakers are more athletic and have the better starting lineup. The Heat have the better bench. In a season like no other, one thing has always been certain – the unexpected. No one would expect the Heat to pull this off, right?
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.