Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat: 2020 NBA Finals Preview


In a year unlike any other, the NBA season has been narrowed down to two teams: the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. In contrast to the traditional format, this year’s finals will take place in the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Florida. Both of these teams have outlasted their opponents until now; only one will prove to be champions. In a matchup filled with unpredictable storylines and sparkling superstars, the NBA finals will feature an assortment of the best players and moments from this season. 

Hailing from the Western Conference as the number one seed, the Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most successful franchises in history. The Lakers will be attempting to win the franchise’s seventeenth championship in thirty-one appearances. Regardless of its historical success, Los Angeles has consistently been a top team in the NBA this season. Finishing with an astonishing record of 52-19, the Lakers have presented a strong case as the front-runner in the finals. Win or lose, this Los Angeles team had a season to remember. 

The 2020 Lakers are considered a contender for the decade’s best team. With LeBron James, arguably the best player of all time at the helm, LA certainly has no shortage of talent amongst its star players. Helping LeBron carry the load is power forward Anthony Davis, a member of the All-NBA First Team. Collectively, James and Davis averaged over 50 team points and 20 rebounds per game in their historic 2020 season, as well as combining for close to 50,000 points over their respective careers. In the past year, the Lakers have done a superb job to keep the supporting cast around LeBron and Davis, the league’s best duo, extremely talented and deep. Role players for the 2020 Lakers bring varieties of play styles ad tendencies to the table. Defensive standouts such as Dwight Howard, Javale McGee, and Rajon Rondo give LA a two-way dimension that is lacked by most teams in the league. The Lakers also have a surplus of mid-level scorers that give steady scoring performances on a nightly basis such as Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, and Alex Caruso. This plethora of over-achieving rotation players have proved to benefit the Lakers down the stretch as they are able to keep fresh legs on the court at all times. After burying Portland, Houston, and Denver all in 5 games, Los Angeles will look to capitalize on such a successful group of players and coaches by adding another championship trophy to the tireless list of accolades. 

Across the floor from the Lakers is a tough, physical, underdog-minded team that has surprised nearly everybody: the Miami Heat. Since attending three straight NBA Finals from 2011-2014, the Heat will return to the promised land for the first time in an attempt to shock the world once more. Led by head coach Erik Spoelstra, Miami has surpassed the high-powered Indiana Pacers, the best team in the league in the Milwaukee Bucks, and the blazing hot Boston Celtics. Amidst this spectacular run, the Heat have discovered hidden gems in many of its role players. Without a bonafide superstar, the players have congregated as a unit to produce a tremendously hard-working and gritty group of players. With a surprisingly low record of 44-29 during the regular season, Miami has settled into a new gear as they have rolled through the Eastern Conference.

In the past 16 months, the Heat have made many moves that would end up contributing greatly to the NBA Finals run. In the offseason, they traded for star Jimmy Butler, an astounding leader and lockdown defender. The team also drafted rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, two players that are unexplainably valuable for Miami. Additionally, center Bam Adebayo has proved that he belongs this postseason, winning matchups against league MVP Giannas Antentekoumpo and all-star Jason Tatum. Within this remarkable stretch, Adebayo has established himself as a perfect co-star to Jimmy Butler. However, the Heat’s main source of production has come from players that have been patient and progressed under the system. Lethal shooter Duncan Robinson has shown his ability to knock down three-pointers at will, while “hustle players” such as league veterans Andre Igoudala and Jae Crowder help Miami fill out the bench. This bench production has been key for the Heat all year long and these players are searching for nothing less than a trophy. As the surprise team of the NBA, the Miami Heat are in a familiar position: the underdogs. 

As the clock ticks down to the start of game one, both teams prepare to ensue battle. Although this year’s NBA Finals is seemingly a mismatch, the upcoming matchup will be nothing short of historic as the NBA Bubble comes to a close. Will LeBron James and the Lakers assert their dominance? Can Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo pull off yet another upset for the Heat? Regardless of the outcome, both squads have had nothing short of a fantastic season. Opening tip-off grows closer and closer as the Lakers and Heat strive to outperform the opponent.