The NBA Finals has finally arrived, and it features Lebron for the ninth in the last ten years. This year we have the first seed in the west Lakers vs the 5th seed in the east Miami Heat. The Lakers enter the game at 12-3 throughout the playoffs, same for the Heat. The second-best offense in the playoffs (LA) against the fifth-best offense. The 5th best defense (LA) against the 7th. The Lakers are heavy favorites entering the series, -400 favorites at William Hill U.S. sportsbooks. Jimmy Butler didn’t seem to care about his team being the underdog.
Jimmy Butler has a point, no one expected the Heat to be in the finals. The Heat took the whole eastern conference for a surprise during the NBA restart. The Heat have earned this trip to the finals. The Heat beat two time reigning MVP Giannis and the number one overall seed Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals, and then went on to beat another team they were the underdogs against in the Celtics. This Heat team keeps on proving everyone wrong, they are the first five seed to ever make the finals. Jimmy Butler has been on a tear to prove everyone wrong, and we are seeing what the future of the big man looks like in Bam Adebayo.
The Lakers are a different story. Many people predicted the Lakers to be here; the Lakers do have two top ten players in the league in Anthony Davis and Lebron James. Davis has been on rolling this postseason, and if you thought he was already unstoppable, the dude is shooting 50.6% from mid-range jump shots during the playoffs. Lebron as normal has the most pressure on him in these finals. The Lakers are big favorites, they have the two best players in the series by a wide margin. If Lebron loses that means he is 3-7 in the finals, this loss would be much like his 2011 finals loss. A title this year means number four for Lebron and his third championship on three separate teams. If Lebron wins this year then that whole Jordan Lebron argument is a whole new story.
Prediction: Many people don’t think the Heat have a shot in this series, and that is foolish. This a good matchup for the Heat, Bam can pretty much guard anyone, and Jimmy Butler will continue the role he has been on during these playoffs. The Heat have multiple role players that can go off any given night and provide shooting; Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and Dragic are all very capable of doing so. With all that being said, the Lakers still have the two best players in this series. I simply can’t pick against that, especially when those two guys are Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Expect the Heat to keep all these games close. Even stealing a game or two but at the end of the day, the Lakers have too much firepower. Lakers in six.