JUST to be clear, class: LeBron James and Anthony Davis are barred from taking the day off Saturday, Oct. 10.
Otherwise, the much-anticipated victory jig for the Los Angeles Lakers could go haywire Fred Astaire won’t ever tap-dance again.
Or, to put it more bluntly, the Miami Heat might spoil the party.
The predicted 4-0 sweep swept away after the Heat’s heroic Game 3 win, the Lakers quickly fought back for that 3-1 lead going to Saturday’s Game 5 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena near Orlando, Florida.
Not even one of the Lakers’ Deadly Duo (James and Davis) is allowed to present a medical certificate to justify not showing up, a piece of document much coveted by the Heat.
Davis was virtually absent in the Lakers’ 115-104 Game 3 loss, giving Jimmy Butler all the elbow room to pace the Heat offense and finish with a 40-point, triple-double effort for the ages.
But with Davis reporting back in Game 4, his measly Game 3 output of 15 points rose to 23, including firing a Rajon Rondo-assisted three pointer—his second—for a game-securing 100-91 Lakers lead with mere ticks remaining.
And, tasked to guard Butler, Davis used the entire length of his 6-foot-10 frame over the 6-fivish Butler, who pitifully went 3-of-12 from the field after burying his first five baskets in the first quarter.
Davis chopped by 16 points Butler’s Game Three 40-point production. Davis capped his courageous comeback from that Game 3 slump by blocking Butler with under 15 seconds left, the Lakers up 100-93.
James iced the Lakers’ Game 4 win with two charities for LA’s 102-93 lead at the 10.9-second mark, finishing with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
James and Davis scored half of the Lakers’ Game 4 total with their combined 51 points to go with their 25 or so rebounds. Almost a give-and-take soiree.
“He (Davis) challenges me, and I challenge him back,” said James. “It’s beautiful.”
It can only be doubly beautiful, indeed, if they both show up on Oct. 10.
Visibly absent in that Game 3 loss was Davis, whose 15 points paled in comparison to his 34 and 32 points, respectively, in the Lakers’ emphatic Games 1 & 2 victories.