The Lakers are crowned as the 2020 NBA Champions

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The Lakers win their 17th title, tying the franchise record in the NBA.

Tristan Baldeo, Staff Writer

Following the longest season in NBA history and one of the most mentally tasking at that, the Los Angeles Lakers reign supreme to capture their 17th NBA title.

Sunday marked the conclusion to the 90-plus days inside the NBA Bubble as the Los Angeles Lakers shattered the dreams of the Miami Heat in a six-game series that came to a close with a 106-93 victory. While the score makes it look like Miami put up a fight, the game itself in which the Lakers claimed the trophy was over as soon as it started.

Game 6 demonstrated LeBron James out for blood leading the offensive attack, with a 36-point lead at one point during the game Heat fans were left in anguish as they watched some of the worst basketball played by their team.

The superstar Lakers duo consisting of LeBron James and Anthony Davis proved to be unstoppable throughout the series, with James averaging throughout the series 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists. Anthony Davis followed with 25 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.

“We just want our respect. Rob wants his respect. Coach Vogel wants his respect. The organization wants their respect. And I want my damn respect.” said LeBron James to ESPN.

James was deemed the unanimous winner of the 2020 NBA Finals MVP Award and continued to break records as he became the first player to win Finals MVP on three different teams. The now 4x NBA Champion and 4x Finals MVP winner look to further his resume toward the “GOAT” conversation.

The Heat failed to play anywhere close to where they did in previous rounds of the playoffs, and many factors could have played into that, most notably injuries, nerves, and fatigue. 

Game 1 of the NBA Finals was grim for the Heat as everything that could go wrong went wrong. Point guard Goran Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia, All-Star center Bam Adebayo suffered both a shoulder and neck sprain and All-Star forward Jimmy Butler was seen limping in pain as he rolled his ankle various times.

While Butler managed to bounce back quickly from his slight issues, Dragic essentially missed the entire series with his injury. Adebayo would go on to only miss Games 2 and 3, however, he never came back to form in time to make a major impact.

The trio of Heat rookies Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson combined for a total of 4 years in the NBA. While these three individuals have made a name for themselves throughout the season, each of them portrayed major weaknesses and lack of confidence in some way in the six-game series.

Jimmy Butler was a lone wolf in this series, averaging 26.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 9.8 assists. After a monstrous Game 5 in which Butler put up a stat line of 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, fatigue got the best of him in Game 6. During this Game 5 performance, Butler would only sit out for 48 seconds, playing a total of 47 minutes and 12 seconds.

While the likes of Goran Dragic or Bam Adebayo would usually be right alongside him, nobody came close to contributing as much as Butler did. Adebayo would only manage to average 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists following his injury while Dragic did not play enough minutes due to injury to make any contributions.

Butler reflected on his first year with Miami and their historic run, and while saddened, looks to accomplish great things in the future with this team.

“I told them that I would win them one and I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain,” Butler told reporters following elimination.

“So that means I got to do it next year. I told Coach Pat, I told Coach Spo I’m here to win one. I didn’t do my job, so moving forward, I got to hold up my end of the bargain,” says Butler. 

The future is bright for both these teams, as they look to be in contention for championships for a while. The main question surrounding the Lakers is will they run it back with the same team next year. The main question surrounding the Heat is should they run it back, as they ultimately displayed they don’t have enough just yet to win it all.

The answer to both of those questions are more than likely yes, yet the Heat may have a troublesome time in free agency as they have many expiring contracts they may look to bring back. 

The Heat should also look to add individual free agents such as Danilo Gallinari or Serge Ibaka as they could be used to fill major holes this team currently has.

As the NBA season finally comes to a close, the offseason begins in which looks to shape one of the greatest seasons the NBA has seen in a long time next year.

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