NBA Finals begin soon due to COVID-19


Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

LeBron James shoots a fadeaway against his future team, the Los Angeles Lakers. He is now carrying the Lakers on an NBA Finals run with former Pelicans star Anthony Davis. The blockbuster trade for Davis instantly made the Lakers a competitor for the NBA Championship.

The date was May 12, 2019. The Raptors v. The Sixers game was tied 90-90 with just a few seconds left. Marc Gasol inbounds the ball to Kawhi Leonard. Leonard dribbles down the half-court, and the rest is history. He makes one of the greatest shots ever seen with four bounces on the rim to secure the Raptors going on past the Conference Semifinals. The Raptors go on to win the NBA Finals. 

Fast forward to May 12, 2020. Basketball should be getting toward the end of the playoffs. However, everyone is quarantined at their homes trying to avoid a virus that changed the world in a matter of months. Just recently, in the second round of the playoffs, Leonard, who is now on the Los Angeles Clippers, was upset in the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets to be eliminated. Not only are upsets happening left and right partially because of the halt of the season and the new “bubble” atmosphere, but games are being played at a different time than usual. Fans will have the NBA Finals in October, when normally the season just begins then. 

A difference in time and atmosphere, with no fans in the crowd, has had some effects on players and the teams. For example out east, the Miami Heat are in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-1 lead against the Celtics when they were expected to not get out of the Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks. They have shown an underdog mentality. The Celtics have also beat the Raptors, the reigning champions, in the second round. The bubble has led to many upsets to a point of where it is impossible to guess who will win the championship. 

Out west, the first seed Lakers are playing the Nuggets. Though the Lakers are the heavily favored team, the Nuggets have proven to be a threat. This Nuggets team is also 6-0 in games facing elimination. They should never be counted out and they have shown that. With that in mind, the Lakers are still looking to send Lebron to the NBA Finals for the 10th time in his career. The Lakers lead the series 2-1. 

A Celtics v. Lakers Finals, with two of the most successful franchises of all time, would be one for the ages. However, LeBron could be facing his old team, the Miami Heat. The Nuggets would create excitement too, as it would be their first time winning an NBA Finals if they come out on top. This year has been unprecedented for the world in real life and in sports. Not only is society unpredictable, but so is the whole entire NBA. The Lakers have the betting odds on their side, but the other three teams have been proven to be relentless and unwilling to give up. LeBron may be the King of the NBA, but Jimmy Butler, Jayson Tatum and Nikola Jokić are all ready to dethrone him.