/ Opinions / Countdown to tip-off: The NBA Finals

Countdown to tip-off: The NBA Finals

July 24, 2020 by Brett LaBore

The NBA is returning soon and I cannot wait. Elite players and exciting plays will fill Walt Disney World in Orlando with joy. I predicted the Western Conference on Tuesday. Here is how I see my predicted NBA Finals playing out.

I predicted the Milwaukee Bucks will represent the Eastern Conference and the Los Angeles Lakers will represent the Western Conference. This is a popular pick and one that I cannot disagree with. These have been the two best teams in my opinion.

This would be a super fun Finals with two teams that have superstars. The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Lakers have LeBron James. 

The last couple of NBA Finals have seen a lot of the Golden State Warriors. So right away, I would be excited by something new. A different look. 

For the East, the Bucks would be another new team. It’s been awhile since we had a brand new team represent both leagues. 

James is fighting for his fourth ring with his third team which would be significant. He wants to cement himself as an all-time Laker and he’s got Kobe Bryant on his mind.

Antetokounmpo looks like a man on a mission, much like James. The Greek Freak is putting up freaky numbers in a short period of time and he has Kobe’s mentality. 

With those two beasts colliding in the playoffs, I envision something special. In the past, it was the Warriors’ elite shooters vs. James or Kawhi Leonard. 

Now, this would be a superstar vs. superstar Finals. Who can motivate his team to make plays down the stretch?

But of course this is a team sport. LeBron has an edge with Anthony Davis by his side. The Bucks on the other hand have great shooters around Giannis. They really work well together and were blowing teams out earlier in the season. 

The Bucks have a slightly better team, while the Lakers have better superstardom.

The Lopez brothers are going to have to contain both Davis and Dwight Howard. Otherwise James will be dishing it to them all day long.

The Lakers are also banged up in different ways. Rajon Rondo is out for awhile hurting their rotation and team chemistry on the court. Avery Bradley won’t be joining the team due to COVID-19 concerns. JR Smith is back with James though.

If the Bucks can make their 3-pointers, that frees up Giannis to do his thing in the paint. If he starts hitting 3s, then that is going to be a problem as well.

The fact of the matter is James is well rested. Not only has he had a big break with the suspension of the season, but he didn’t play in the playoffs last year. He had played so many playoff minutes and that can be tread on the tires.

Now James is fresher than ever. Combine that with his mentality, his play from the point guard position and Bryant in the back of his mind, James is going to do some damage.

The fact that James has Davis with him is a big deal. I love Giannis, but I’m afraid his teammates won’t step up in big time moments when they need to and James will.

The difference is Game 7. When it comes down to it, James will pull through and I have the Lakers in seven. James can hand it to Davis, which is big time and there are enough 3-point shooters and defenders to help James.

Giannis will put up some numbers and the Bucks will shoot 3-pointers. But at the end of the game, I trust James a little more than Giannis and that is the difference.

This is my predicted NBA Finals outcome. Regardless of whether or not I am right, I’m excited to see the NBA return and I’m hoping for great games and entertaining outcomes. 

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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