LAL v BOS for tradition or LAC or DEN v MIA for a new balance of power
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - September 16, 2020 - 12:00am

We’re nearing the finish line for the NBA to crown this unusual season’s champion.  Three of them (Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat) have a combined total of 57 conference titles and 36 championships. 

Miami and Boston will go for the Eastern Conference title today.  It will be the Heat’s first trip to the conference finals in six years.  They won back-to-back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013 and last won the EC crown in 2014.  The Celtics’ last NBA championships was in 2008 and their previous trip to the conference finals was in 2010.

By the time you had read this piece, it’s either the LA Clippers or the Denver Nuggets who will be facing the Lakers for the Western Conference title.

The Clippers had never been to a conference finals and this will be their first time as they had never advanced past the conference semis.  Likewise, they are the league’s oldest franchise who had never been to an NBA Finals.  Denver, like the Clippers, had never reached the league finals but has 9 division titles compared to LAC’s 2.  Kawhi Leonard will try to get a third ring with his third team, if they get past the Nuggets.

Boston and Miami both battled for the conference finals in 2012 and are at it again this time.  They’re about even and the series could go seven games.  Both teams were underrated at the bubble restart and were not expected to figure in the conference finals.  The Celtics and the Heat are young, well-coached, play good defense and they do have star power.  They both have deep benches and on any given night, someone just could get hot aside from the usual suspects. 

Jimmy Butler will be the Heat’s game closer but expect to see more of Bam Adebayo, rookies Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.  Don’t underestimate older guys like Jae Crowder and Andre Igoudala who are good wing defenders and can knock down those 3s.  Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker will lead the charge for the Celtics and if Gordon Hayward gets cleared to play, the men in green will have a slight edge over Miami, scoring wise.

For the LA Lakers, after ten years later and seven coaching changes later, they are back in the limelight and are just 8 games away for their 17th title.   If defense win championships, they are on the right track with the way they played against Portland and Houston.   They have 3 all-defensive teamers in Dwight Howard, Danny Green and Anthony Davis.  Surprisingly, LeBron James who for the past years had been half-hearted with his defense, had transformed into one of the team’s best defenders.

I’m old school and would prefer traditional teams LAL and BOS renewing their rivalry.  But if tradition gives way to a new order, then the balance of power shifts to MIA and either LAC or DEN. sports

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