Who's likely to win the series between the LA Lakers and Miami Heat?
Tyler (Miami Heat)
While basketball analysts like Stephen A. Smith expect the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers to win this year's NBA Finals, the Lakers simply don't stand a chance.
Miami's stellar duo of center Bam Adebayo and forward Jimmy Butler provides the most formidable challenge that the Lakers' Lebron James and Anthony Davis have faced all year. With Adebayo standing at 6'10' and Butler at 6'8', the two All-Star and All-Defensive team members are almost mirror images of the opposing team's superstars that they will be guarding.
Beyond each team's two star players, the Miami Heat are significantly more equipped to win the NBA Finals. The Heat has a well-rounded lineup featuring former Finals MVP and All-Star Andre Iguodala, 2018 All-Star point guard Goran Dragic, and two Rookie-of-the-Year candidates in Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Additionally, throughout the season, players like Meyers Leonard and Duncan Robinson have had their roles on the team changed numerous times. By stepping up to the task when their number is called in challenging situations, the Miami Heat exemplifies advanced preparation and an unnerved will to win.
Notably, Lebron James had previously never won an NBA Finals until he was coached by Erik Spoelstra, who is still currently the Miami Heat coach. It took James a year to get over the hump and win a Finals when he arrived in Miami, and he also lost the Finals during his final year with the team. Spoelstra coached James for four years and will exploit James' few weaknesses on the basketball court.
Although not favored to win, the Miami Heat will take home this year's trophy.
Jon (LA Lakers)
You have to be out of your mind to bet against Lebron James in the NBA Finals--even though he's 35 years old and even though he's playing in his 17th season. The pedigree of a Lebron James-led team with an All-NBA Defensive 1st Team member in Anthony Davis, to boot, is not a team you bet against.
Lebron James owns the NBA Finals. Other than last year, he's made it to every NBA Finals since 2010. He's also the fourth player ever to make it to 10 Finals appearances with three different franchises. If you don't think he can get the job done and come out with a ring, the Cavaliers, and their very own opponents, the Miami Heat, would have to disagree.
James isn't alone this time, either. Anthony Davis is as much of a threat on the floor as Lebron is. Davis and Lebron are a dynamic offensive duo creating endless problems for their opposition. During these playoffs, they averaged a combined 55.5 points per game. And Anthony Davis ranks first among players going to the Finals for blocks, points, field-goal percentage, and points-per-game. It doesn't hurt that the Miami Heat's most potent offensive threat, Bam Adebayo, will be guarded by Davis, the aforementioned All-NBA Defensive 1st Team member.
The Miami Heat are one of Lebron James' most dangerous Finals opponents, but if James and Davis can ignite their offense and get the rest of their bench in a position to score as well, the Miami Heat look to have their work thoroughly cut out for them.
- The Miami Heat have won three NBA championships: 2006, 2012, and 2013.
- The LA Lakers have made it to the NBA Finals more than any other team in history, and have brought home 16 titles.
- The most points scored in a Finals game was in 1962 by Lakers’ Elgin Baylor, who totaled 61.
- In a 2019 NBA.com General Managers survey, Miami Heat’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, was voted the second-best coach in the NBA.