Mateo Vazquez ’21
What has been probably one of the longest seasons for the NBA has finally come to a close and the victors of the long awaited season are the Los Angeles Lakers, led by none other than the king himself Lebron James. This year’s 2020 championship marks James’s fourth ring, and makes him the only player to accomplish this with three different NBA teams. However, the road to get to this point was no easy feat. Just a few weeks ago, we saw the Lakers battle it out against the Denver Nuggets with what can only be described as James rushing around the court, being there at the right time to seize opportunities for the Lakers. Then, just this past weekend, the league got to see once again just how crucial James is for this current Lakers team. Throughout the finals, LA and the Miami Heat were going back and forth with wins.
When it looked as if the Lakers were coming out in front the next game, the Heat would respond with a vicious offense that let everyone know not to count them out just yet. However, Sunday night’s last game for the finals truly demonstrated just how in control of the game the Lakers were. The team demonstrated their ability to not only play an aggressive offensive game, but also a stonewall defense. In every period but the fourth, LA destroyed Miami on the offensive end of play, pummeling the defense with shot after shot on net and in the second quarter put up a 20-point lead against the Heat.
This is not to mention that the real show in the second quarter was the Lakers defense, only letting up 16-points in total played a crucial role in allowing LA to stay out in front during the game. These were the little things on the court that made a key difference. Many players did not want to play with James as they felt robbed of the show, however, getting Anthony Davis (someone who is of MVP talent, but does not yet have one) to play with James made a big difference. The combination of the two stood out on the court and demonstrated that they are both the MVP athletes that, when in sync together, can prove to be a lethal weapon against any team they play against.
The Miami Heat had to deal with this issue, and struggled to combat the two of them. With James’ speedy work moving the ball down the court and Davis’ long arms and coordination around the basket, it was inevitable that the Lakers would be coming home with some kind of victory this year. Perhaps a quote that sums up the finals was best expressed by Davis, who got his first NBA championship: “It just makes it all worth it,” he said after recording 19-points, 15 rebounds and two blocks. “It was tough times [in New Orleans], but like I said, I’m a champion. When I got traded, that’s all I wanted was to be a champion, to be able to compete, be able to win. I was able to do that my first year with the Lakers.”
The Lakers were able to craft together an intricate team in which each player truly complemented the other. Each player’s talents on the court made it hard for other teams to take them on, and fans got to see this compliment of talents working with one another to achieve victory.