UNLESS you haven’t been paying attention to the last decade of NBA basketball, Lebron James is a staple at the NBA Finals.
The aberration happened last year where he was injured and his team failed to make it to the playoffs. Also, he didn’t have any superstar teammate to rely on.
But remember that in 2018, even after All-star teammate Kyrie Irving left the Cleveland Cavaliers, he still managed to drag what was left of that team kicking and screaming to the finals.
HEAT. I was rooting for the Boston Celtics to make it to the Finals because I was hoping for the rekindling of the fabled Boston-Los Angeles rivalry. But the Miami Heat were so resilient and so tough, they were able to overcome attrition against the higher-seeded teams in the Eastern Conference and found themselves matched up against the top-seeded Lakers from the West.
Yesterday, the Lakers defeated the Heat to grab a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. But c’mon, what did you expect?
This is a team without a superstar. As good as Jimmy Butler his, he is no NBA superstar. Probably a top 25 player, but definitely not on the top-tier coming into these Finals.
This team is a curious mix of the very old and the very young. Their highest scorer coming into the playoffs was Goran Dragic who is about a year younger than James. One of their stalwarts on defense is veteran Andre Igoudala who is even older than Lebron.
Then there are the young guys. Rookie Tyler Herro was only 3 years old when Lebron made his NBA debut. He’s the youngest player ever to start in an NBA finals. Duncan Robinson -their designated hitman from the 3-point area, is only in his second NBA season. And Bam Adebayo -their sole inside threat is still a baby at 23 years of age.
If anything, I would credit their success to great coaching by the multi-titled Eric Spoelstra and of course, the leadership of Jimmy Butler on the floor.
In so many ways, Butler is the anti-Lebron. He doesn’t crave the media limelight. He doesn’t care if nobody likes him. He doesn’t give a hoot about stats. He doesn’t even like shooting the three, unlike Lebron who on occasion fancies shooting those logo threes with mixed results.
JAMES. Going back to James, the evidence shows that if you pair him up with other All-stars of equal caliber, he almost always wins the title. In Miami, he teamed up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to win two titles. In Cleveland, he had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
The year 2020 has been the year of the duo and in the NBA, the Lakers have the best duo in James and Anthony Davis.
The other duo who could have threatened them- Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, didn’t take care of business at their end. And that’s not Lebron’s fault. The Clippers were the only team who had the tools to defeat the Lakers. Without them, it’s been a wide open highway for Lebron.
The only other issue here up for debate is who among the two will become the Finals MVP. That’s how dominant they are.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Pinamungajan’s prolific Councilor, Atty. Marvin Miralles who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!