Will there be an asterisk attached to this championship?
No. hell No. It was one thing to point to an asterisk before the NBA restart, when players were tricking into Orlando and the threat of a COVID-19 related halt seemed like a possibility. but it now? The teams have been fairly healthy. Games have been played at a higher level, higher, perhaps, due to the elimination of travel, and the wear and tear that comes with it. Throw in the mental hurdle of finishing the season in isolation and an argument that not only has an asterisk attached to this championship, it must be considered the toughest title any team has ever won.
Will a title be LeBron James’ most significant achievement?
James’ bucket of “significant achievements” is overflowing. The 2007 Cavaliers are the team that flanked 22-year-old James with Drew Gullen and Larry Hughes. Won back-to-back championships in Miami. A 3-1 rally is down to thwart the 72-winner Warriors squad in 2016. There are tenten!-Final appearances, airs already occupied by Bill Russell, Sam Jones and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Yet there is a strong case that a title has to be made is James’ most notable achievement. At the age of 35, James is not part of the Lakers’ way to the finals – they are the driving force. His field goal percentage (54.7%) is the third-largest share of his playoff career. He is the second-highest assist (8.9) average in rebounding (10.3), cracking just the second time double-figure. And he is doing it the least time per minute in a game (35) He played in a postsman. LA, meanwhile, was not just a tough conference playoff field – they battered it, losing just three games along the way. If James & Co. does the same in Miami, it would be his biggest achievement.
The Lakers were 2–0 against the Heat in the regular season – does it matter?
Not necessary. The Heat are a different team, both in the rotation (Tyler Harrow has choked Kendrick Nunn) and the roster, along with Andre Igodala and Jay Crowder — two players who will provide the bulk of the defense they have acquired over James after both meetings. Still, it’s worth noting that The Heat had no answer for Anthony Davis, who shot 60% from the floor at an average of about 30-points in two meetings. His counterpart, Bam Adebayo, has struggled against any team in the league at an average of 11.5 points this season. Entering his first final, Davis is at the peak, posting 28.8 points in the conference playoffs on 57.1% shooting. Adebayo, who was superb for the Heat against Boston, needs to be up for the challenge.
Who has the coaching edge?
Frank Vogel deserves enormous credit for entering the finals to the Lakers, but this postmaster has served as a reminder that Eric Spoelstra – in his 12 seasons as head coach of Miami, was the only organization he ever worked for. Has done – is among the elite. Spoelstra will also have to get creative in this series. The Heat coach had a brilliant postman, building walls in front of Giannis Antetokonampo, a prolific Boston offense right out of the playoffs. He will have to be equally creative against the Lakers. How many minutes does Adebayo take Miami’s top defender against Davis? How much does the Heat’s heralded zone get thrown at LA shooters? Vogel’s approach is effective, but simple, physically horrifying, timely shooting and riding the talent of two of the top five players in the NBA. Spoelstra will need to dig deep into his bag for a shot at Miami.
Number to see
The Lakers have a common thread in three defeats: three-point shooting. In Game 1 against Portland, the Lakers shot 15.6%. In Game 1 against Houston, it was 28.9%. 3 defeats to Denver in a game, 23.1%. Oppose that close wins for LA against the Blazers (38.9%), Rockets (51.4%) and Nuggets (37.5%), and you can see the difference. Rajon Rondo, not commonly known as a three-point shooter, is adding this postson to a high of 44.8% of his career. The Lakers other three-point shooters (Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Alex Caruso) made some reshuffling in the conference finals, and Miami will need to continue any chance to slow down this LA offense.
(Other) number to see
Miami has not only been good in the fourth quarter, this post-heat is done great. Miami is a plus-68 in the final quarter, a historically strong number. Against the Lakers, the Heat will face one of the best fourth-quarter performers in NBA history .. James has not been overwhelming in the postmen in the fourth, although his 16 points in Game 5 against Denver is a big reason for the Nuggets. Look from home James has the ability to control the fourth with his pass, with speed and his ability to almost get to the rim. Miami blows Giannis away and some Jason escapes with Tatum Serges, but Lebron is a completely different challenge. Can the heat continue for the final 12 minutes?
Will Dwight Howard play an important role in this series?
unclear. Howard is refreshing out of an excellent conference final, incessantly spent troubling Nikola Jokic (and the referee), while chugging in a double-double in a crucial game 4. If Miami plus-line up their lineup with Mayon Leonard If you do choose to up, it is certainly possible that if Heat want to avoid playing Adebayo over Anthony Davis for extended stretches – Howard can draw minutes on Adebayo. Like against Denver, Howard would not need to post a large amount, simply forcing Adibayo into tough shots at the offensive end while working on the defensive glass. Howard can make an impact in his offensive way by looking for holes in Miami’s favorite zone of defense. Howard’s redemption arc has been one of the more fascinating stories for this postman – we sometimes forget how likely a future Hall of Famer was to be out of the NBA last summer – and this was before Arch Howard May continue to the finals. Decade.
How will the young couple of Miami.
A year ago, Harrow, a mido round pick, was reporting to the Heat Training Camp with limited expectations. Two years ago, Duncan Robinson was an undrafted free agent attempting to make the Miami roster. Today Robinson has emerged as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters, while Harrow has leapfrogged fellow Rocky Nuns in Miami’s rotation and has given the postman a huge performance. The bubble environment must first help both adjust to the pressure of playing in the finals; There will be no jam packed media session, no pulsed atmosphere of the Staples Center, just the quiet area they have played for the last two months. Robinson (40%) and Harrow (37.8%) were both skilled three-point shooters in the conference playoffs. He will need the Heat again to succeed in the final.