Lakers Knocking on the Door of Their 17th Championship
With the Los Angeles Lakers 102-96 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday, October 6th, our Lakers take a demanding 3-1 lead in the 2020 NBA finals. With the fifth (and possibly final) game of the finals, what will happen when LA wins? I’m sure everyone saw Skip Bayless say that winning this series will hurt LeBron’s GOAT case.
This statement is absolutely absurd. Given the argument that the Michael Jordan bobble heads will argue “six rings” until their last breath, I think capturing this fourth ring will encase LeBron James as the greatest basketball player on earth. I digress. Let’s move forward.
2020 Finals MVP
Let’s dig into a few statistics first and foremost.
In four games in the NBA finals, LeBron has averaged 27.8 points, 11 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 0.8 steals and blocks on 53.8% shooting.
Anthony Davis has averaged 25.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1 steal and 1.8 blocks on 61% shooting.
It goes without saying that AD has had a phenomenal finals series, despite his subpar game three performance. He has dominated on both ends of the court with his exceptional shooting and suffocating defense.
LeBron has lead this team through everything this season. They were doubted from the start of the season for seemingly no reason other than to hate. LeBron, in my opinion however, is absolutely the 2020 finals MVP. AD has played better than he arguably ever has, but LeBron has been a consistent leader and producer. Not to mention he’s doing this at 35 years old. I know age doesn’t matter in terms of FMVP, don’t crucify me, but it’s incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be upset if LeBron doesn’t win FMVP, Davis deserves it too, I just give the edge to the King.
Let’s Take a Walk
Now, if you’re reading this, you either love the Lakers, hate the Lakers, love LeBron, or hate LeBron. There’s nothing in between. I know many people are upset about LeBron walking off the court with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of game 3.
I’ve heard everything from, “Kobe or Michael would never” to “he’s just a competitor.” I don’t view this as LeBron giving up. The game was over, Davis didn’t show up to play, the team shot 43% from the field and Jimmy Butler dropped a 40 point triple double. Would you not be upset? I’m also not saying LeBron had no fault in the loss. He shot 1/5 from deep that game and had 8 turnovers. That’s unacceptable from the best player in the world, and LeBron knew that. Let’s not forget that Kobe Bryant DID do that. Against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012 to be exact. These men are competitors. Frustration happens.
The moment LeBron fans have all been waiting for. LeBron winning another chip. Does this cement LeBron James as the greatest basketball player of all time? I think so.
The main argument that I always hear regarding Michael Jordan being a better basketball player than LeBron James is the rings argument. How it doesn’t matter that LeBron has been to the finals ten finals while Jordan has only been to six. It’s all about how Jordan is 6-0. LeBron could win four more finals and have eight rings and still get slandered because he lost finals.
What I DO think will hurt his legacy, is if Anthony Davis wins the finals MVP over LeBron. It’s a win-lose situation. LeBron gets his fourth ring, but doesn’t get the finals MVP to go with it. He gets hate either way for it.
What Happens Next?
I don’t want to downplay the Miami Heat and say that we have the championship in the bag, because as we’ve seen with the Nuggets, nothing is impossible. LA will have to come out on Friday night, October 9th, and win a basketball game against a young, highly skilled unit. We will have to shut out Jimmy and limit the three ball. The Heat have relied heavily on their run-and-gun play style and gritty defense. If Davis and LeBron show up to play, working off each other, the win is in the bag. AD secures his ring, moving him into an all-time power forward list, LeBron snags his fourth ring, and the Lakers win their first ring in ten years.
After, let’s just celebrate for a while. We deserve it.
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