Mateo Vazquez ’21
As so many overlapping sports seasons are nearing a close, the most electric league thus far has definitely been the National Basketball Association. This past weekend saw some of the most intense games on the court. In the East finals, the Miami Heat took on the Boston Celtics, and after Friday night’s game, it seemed that the Celtics, who were down by two games, had a chance to tie up the series on Sunday night. However, the Miami Heat closed any odds of that happening as they dominated every quarter. The Heat made a strong push early in the first quarter and then again late in the fourth quarter.
An aspect of their performance that helped their win was that they were was constant movement towards Bam Adebayo, who acted as a kind-of “human highway” in that he was able to rapidly distribute the ball around the court and managed to put up 32 points throughout the game. Adebayo’s partner, Jimmy Butler, was also able to penetrate the Celtics defense with quick and direct attacks on net and secured 22 points. For a second in the second quarter there was a glimpse of hope for Celtics fans that they were pulling it together and had ironed out the issues on defense that they were having in the first quarter. However, they failed to carry that throughout the rest of the game and once again slowly fell behind until they were just scrambling to recover in the fourth quarter without ever being able to hold any kind of lead.
While Miami and Boston were battling it out on the East Coast, the West saw an extremely high intensity game with the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers. While it was quite clear on Saturday night that the Nuggets were not going to be attending to the finals, there was a valiant effort on their part to bring the same intensity to their last game and almost come away with a victory. The first two quarters especially, LeBron put a lot of pressure on the defense and quite frankly, walked into the Nuggets court without much difficulty. While the Nuggets responded to almost every shot that they gave up they were nonetheless, still tailing the Lakers. That gap slowly began to grow and as fans had seen in the previous games, it looked as if the Lakers were going to slowly walk away with another victory. However, the Nuggets took to the court strong in the third quarter and made a valiant effort to relapse back and secure a lead. They were able to outscore the Lakers 33-26 in the third quarter and narrow the score gap.
Unfortunately, they went all out too soon, because in the fourth quarter the Lakers absolutely buried any remaining hope that Denver would have had for winning. Even in the last few minutes of gameplay, the Lakers started raining down the shots on the Denver defense, overwhelming them with the sheer amount of incoming fire on the net.
The final score was 117-107, with another win for the Lakers.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Lakers will face-off in the finals against the Heat. The Lakers, who are the favored to win, have not won a championship in a decade, and no doubt they will have a great opportunity to do so with the assistance of LeBron James for this upcoming championship.