Home / Sport / Lakers vs Heat: Three things to know as Los Angeles and Miami face off in the 2020 NBA Finals

Lakers vs Heat: Three things to know as Los Angeles and Miami face off in the 2020 NBA Finals

On September 27, 2019, the Los Angeles Lakers showed up at the squad facility for media day. A year later, on September 27, 2020, they found out who their opponent would be for the 2020 NBA Finals. It may have arrived a few months later than expected, but the final match is finally set.

The Lakers, owners of the number 1 seed of the Western Conference and looking for a better 17th NBA championship, will face the Miami Heat, a number 5 seed on a Cinderella run to the finals after several years out of the game. Hollywood couldn’t write it better. The Lakers may enter the series as heavy favorites, but the Heat have slaughtered the giants since the start of the playoffs. They won̵

7;t back down on anyone. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 NBA Finals.

NBA Finals Schedule

All Eastern Times

Game 1: Wednesday 30 September, 9 pm | ABC

Game 2: Friday 2 October, 21:00 | ABC

Game 3: Sunday 4 October, 19:30 | ABC

Game 4: Tuesday 6 October, 21:00 | ABC

Game 5: Friday 9 October, 21:00 | ABC *

Game 6: Sunday 11 October, 19:30 | ABC *

Game 7: Tuesday 13 October, 21:00 | ABC *

*If necessary


1. LeBron is making history, and there is a lot of bad blood going around

This series will be a unique challenge for LeBron James. He started winning championships as a member of the Miami Heat nearly a decade ago, but will now face his former team. Roleplayers face former employers in the Finals quite often, and Dion Waiters will do so in this series as well, but superstars are never in this position. Literally. No Finals MVP has ever faced the team with which it won the award in a future series of finals.

He’s not the only one turning back the clock. Heat president Pat Riley began his managerial career with the Lakers, but since leaving the team in 1990, he hasn’t faced them even once in a playoff series as a manager or manager. This changes Wednesday. This may be Riley’s last real shot in the tenth ring of the championship, and he comes up against the team that helped him earn his top six. Someone is walking away from this series with a ring at the expense of their former home.

And that probably doesn’t bother either James or Riley. The two hadn’t exactly seen each other in the eye since LeBron’s last days with the Heat. Riley famously challenged James to stay with the Heat after losing the 2014 finals. “This stuff is tough,” he said at the time. “And you have to stay together, if you have the courage. And you don’t find the first door and run out.” When Riley met James in Las Vegas to discuss his future, he was shocked by the absence of LeBron’s confidant Maverick Carter, as well as a World Cup game in the background, feeling that James had already decided to return to Cleveland.

Although James never identified Riley specifically, he has spoken publicly about his bridges burned in Miami after leaving the Heat and how it motivated him towards the 2016 championship. “When I decided to leave Miami,” James said at the time. , “I’m not going to name names, I can’t. But there were some people I trusted and built relationships with over those four years [who] he told me I was making the biggest mistake of my career. “It is widely believed that he was referring to Riley.

This meeting will be personal. He will also potentially serve as a capper in one of the greatest gaming careers of all time, or in one of the greatest executive careers. Someone will leave this series with one of the most satisfying championships of his career.

2. The Lakers owned the series of the season, but under very different circumstances

The Lakers and the Heat have played twice this season, as do all their finals opponents, and the Lakers have won both matches. The first round was a 95-80 crash in Los Angeles where the Lakers kept the Heat just 34 points in the second half. Things got closer as the venue moved to Miami for the second round, but again, the Lakers came out in the lead, 113-110.

However, neither result should be considered particularly predictive in light of what happened next. The Lakers and the Heat have not played since December. In February, the Heat completed their rotation with the acquisition of Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder at the commercial deadline. In addition to playing major roles in Miami’s Eastern Conference run, both will prove essential in defending James. Iguodala has quite a bit of experience on this front. He won a Finals MVP award largely based on his work defending LeBron in 2015. Crowder has played with both and against James in the past.

Miami’s transformation goes way beyond the players he added by the deadline, though. The Heat are a distinctly different team on the pitch and should be treated as such. The Lakers and Heat will study the tape and take what they can from nine-month matches, but the truth is that these teams, as currently built, haven’t played yet.

3. The Heat are already in uncharted waters, as is the entire series

It shouldn’t surprise any of you to know that no number 5 seed has ever won an NBA championship. In this way, in most cases, it would require upheavals in four consecutive rounds. The Heat were favorites against Indiana, but have surpassed underdog status in the last two series to reach the finals. In the process, they became the first ever number 5 seed to go this far, even though the number 6 seeded Houston Rockets of 1995 won the championship.

This is not the only story to be made through this encounter. Both the Lakers and the Heat lost the playoffs last season. No final match has ever included two lottery teams from the previous season. The winner will become the first lottery team to win a championship the following season from the 2008 Boston Celtics.

Nobody expected the Lakers to stay on the ground for long. Their lottery status was due, in large part, to LeBron’s mid-season injury. The Miami situation was more precarious, but once Jimmy Butler got on board, the playoffs were inevitable. But both teams were emerging from drought when they acquired their stars. Both James and Butler wagered on teams that weren’t foolproof contenders, and both were rewarded with an appearance in the NBA Finals.

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