Earlier this weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers earned their first NBA Finals appearance in a decade following a brilliant performance from LeBron James in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
Reeling after losing their Game 5 matchup against the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat needed a win Sunday evening in Orlando to avoid a Game 7.
That’s exactly what we saw come to fruition.
All-Star big man Bam Adebayo dropped 32 points in Miami’s decisive 125-113 win over Boston Sunday evening. This followed some major struggles from the youngster during Game 5 on Friday. Meanwhile, stud rookie Tyler Herro did his thing with 19 points to go with five rebounds and seven assists off the bench.
Back in June of 2019 (seems like eons ago) before they acquired Jimmy Butler, the Heat had 200-to-1 odds to win the NBA title. They joined the likes of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards with the longest odds to win the championship, let alone appear in the NBA Finals. It’s simply amazing what front-office head Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra have done with this roster.
It will be the top storyline leading up to the start of the 2020 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Heat. King James starred in South Beach for the Heat from 2010-14, leading Miami to two championships in the process.
Some things never change. Riley and Spoelstra remain with the Heat. However, it’s going to be extremely fun to watch LeBron go up against his former team. From an individual perspective, seeing James guarded by defensive stalwart Jimmy Butler and former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala will be a blast.
The backdrop here is a Lakers team that started the 2020 calendar year reeling from the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing. Kobe led the Lakers to their last NBA Finals 10 years ago.
As you might imagine, the sports world had its reactions to what promises to be a great 2020 NBA Finals matchup between the Heat and Celtics.
Stephen A. Smith called the Heat-Lakers matchup in the NBA Finals 9 months ago pic.twitter.com/4KPmPb9qH3— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) September 28, 2020
Wob Productions Presents: "Back to the Future"— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) September 28, 2020
The Lakers vs. Heat 2020 NBA Finals Hype Video. pic.twitter.com/zMqvMbd3EO
Lakers vs. Heat for the 2020 NBA Finals. How many games does this go? pic.twitter.com/ftlyLGY3El— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) September 28, 2020
Heat vs. Lakers— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) September 28, 2020
NBA Finals on deck pic.twitter.com/ORyaXWSNS8
Dion Waiters started the season on the Heat and is now on the Lakers meaning he’s getting a ring no matter what. Simply a genius move.— Leigh Ellis (@LeighEllis) September 28, 2020
Current Lakers "fans", that were once Heat fans because of LeBron, cheering against the Heat in the finals because LeBron is a Laker in the finals now. pic.twitter.com/kk10VNSua2— Slevin Kelevra (@DrunkUncTony) September 28, 2020
Of course, people also had reactions to a certain Kevin Durant tweet from a decade ago.
Now everybody wanna play for the heat and the Lakers? Let's go back to being competitive and going at these peoples!— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 16, 2010