The stage has been set for NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat to conclude what has been an eventful NBA season unlike any other. The path that these two teams took to get here was different but they got to the same point, in the end.
The Lakers were the number one seed coming out of the regular season and were favored by analysts to win the championship, being led by Allstars Lebron James and Anthony Davis, in their pursuit of winning it all for Kobe Bryant. Bryant, the Laker legend, tragically died in a helicopter crash in January with his daughter Gianna and seven other individuals. James and the Lakers have dedicated the season to Bryant and on multiple occasions worn “Mamba” jerseys in memory of Bryant.
The Lakers opened their trip to the finals with a matchup against the Portland Trailblazers.
The Blazers took game one, but the Lakers came back to win the next three. Game five was postponed because of the league-wide boycott of the shooting of Jacob Blake and to protest in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement. There was talk of canceling the rest of the postseason but that dissipated as games resumed with players wearing jerseys displaying messages in support of Black Lives Matter.
After the boycotts, the Lakers won the series against the Blazers, 4-1. In the semi-finals, the Lakers knocked off the Houston Rockets 4-1. The Western Conference Finals was a bit of an odd matchup as the Lakers matched up against the Denver Nuggets, an underdog throughout the playoffs. The Nuggets, however, were not enough for the Lakers, who won 4-1 once again.
On the other side of the bracket, the Miami Heat took a different approach than the Lakers. The Heat was the fifth seed in the East and was overlooked by many analysts. The Heat went on to sweep the Indiana Pacers 4-0, and next faced the first seeded Milwaukee Bucks who had the best record in the league. In shocking fashion, the Heat upset the Bucks 4-1 and sent a shock to the league. The Eastern Conference Finals was a matchup between the Heat and the Boston Celtics. The Heat won 4-2, booking their ticket to the finals and to square off with Lebron and the Lakers.
“This whole season has been one for the books and the finals is as interesting as the season was’” said sophomore student Nick Barry forensic science, “I would have liked to see the Celtics in the finals but this is interesting Lebron returning to Miami what else could you ask for.”
Lebron left the Miami Heat in 2014 and this is the first time the Heat has been in the finals since Lebron’s joining.
The Heat have cut the series lead to 3-2 heading into game 6 on Sunday at 7:30 where the Heat will try to force a game 7.
One thing is for sure: the NBA season has been filled with firsts and a season that has kept fans on their toes and this matchup for the finals is one that keeps that going and will be interesting to see who comes out holding the championship trophy.