James, Davis lead Lakers to NBA victory over Heat, dedicate victory to Kobe


Paolo Rosa / Creative Commons

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 4-2 in the Finals series in Florida. The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who won his fourth NBA title with a third different franchise and became the first player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP with three different teams.

The NBA’s longest season has finally come to an end, and the Los Angeles Lakers are NBA Champions once again. The Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games to secure the franchise’s 17th championship. It was a monumental moment for LeBron James, who is now a four-time champion and has won a title with three different teams. Once again, the Lakers are back on top, basketball champions for the first time in a decade.

Following game six, James was named the 2020 NBA Finals MVP for the fourth time in his esteemed career. James is the first player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP with three different teams, and he certainly earned it in this series. The 35-year-old averaged 29.8 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 8.5 APG across the six games against Miami, while pursuing his first title with the Lakers and earning his fourth championship in 17 seasons. 

The title comes nearly nine months after Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash that killed eight others, including his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gianna. Following the accident, the Lakers continued to find ways to pay tribute to Kobe and his daughter. Bryant was a mentor to many of the Lakers current players and following the game, many of the Lakers players stated that this championship was for Kobe and the Bryant family.

On the downside, the Miami Heat fell short of winning the franchise’s fourth championship. At the beginning of the season, Miami’s odds of winning the NBA Finals were 75-1. After a fantastic run in the bubble, the Heat finished the season as Eastern Conference champions and gained much respect throughout the sports world. Jimmy Butler, the Heat’s lone superstar, gave two incredible performances in games three and five to push the series to six games. Although the Heat rallied, the absence of Dragic and Adebayo for games two and three ended up playing a decisive role in the series.

With help from James, Anthony Davis put on a show in his first-ever Finals appearance. Throughout the playoffs, Davis averaged 27.7 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and played 36.6 MPG. One thing that doesn’t show up on his stat line, however, was the defense he played on Miami’s Butler throughout the series. In game six, Butler was held to just 12 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds, his worst stat line during the series. 

As the NBA Finals come to an end, the league now shifts its focus to next season. The Lakers will undoubtedly be in the mix to make it back to the Finals, but the Miami Heat may have a difficult road ahead. Teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers will give Miami a tough battle throughout the season. Team president Pat Riley has some critical decisions to make this offseason if he wants to see his team make another deep run into the playoffs next year.