The NBA Finals are finally upon us! The Heat and Lakers are set to play the first game of the series on Wednesday at 9 pm ET. We have finally made it. What a long, strange trip its been.
The Heat worked their tails off to be here, as it’s rare to see a #5 seed in the NBA Finals. They took out Indiana in four, then downed the top-seeded Bucks in five.
They finished off the Celtics in six games, and now the mighty Lakers await as the final challenge. Can Coach Spoelstra get his third title as head coach?
The Lakers, on the other hand, had a bit of a different path. They took down all three of their opponents in five games. And in every series, size was one of the big determining factors. Dwight Howard’s insertion into the starting lineup paid huge dividends over the final two games of the Nuggets series.
Four wins, and one of these teams is a champ once again.
The Game 1 spread favors the Lakers by 4.5 points. The over/under is set at 217.5.
Miami Looks for Fourth Straight 1-0 Lead
They have not lost the first two games of any series this postseason, and Miami hopes to make it the case once more. This is a hard-working group that has played together as a cohesive unit all year long. They seem to work harder than their opponents, and the breadth of weapons makes them tough.
If it isn’t the All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, it is Duncan Robinson making three after three. Goran Dragic has been a stud and their leading scorer for much of the postseason. And 20-year-old rookie Tyler Herro had a historic scoring performance just two games back. They are never scared of the moment.
This also marks the sixth consecutive NBA Finals appearance for Andre Iguodala, having been in the previous five with the Warriors.
Lakers Look to Start Strong
Now that LeBron James is back in the finals, he doesn’t want to waste any time. It is worth noting that the Warriors cleaned his clock the last two times they met.
In the previous two championship appearances, James’ Cavs went just 1-8. This is a very different scenario, but it is still important to remember.
He has Anthony Davis alongside him now, the two of them playing great ball to close out the Nuggets. Several of James’ teammates have great NBA Finals experience, including Danny Green and Rajon Rondo. And JaVale McGee & Quinn Cook defeated James in those two prior trips.
At the end of the day, it will be veteran leadership, combined with bench scoring that will help the Lakers get out to this Game 1 victory.
Heat Fall Behind, Lakers Win
The Lakers will capture the first game of this NBA Finals series. It will be competitive, but LA will cover.
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