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Awkward! LeBron, Riley Face Past Glory In NBA Finals

Awkward! LeBron, Riley Face Past Glory In NBA Finals

The LA Lakers and the Miami Heat are the 2020 NBA finalists after the Heat took down the Boston Celtics yesterday – the Lakers moved in on Saturday.  The two teams will fiercely compete to take the championship in the best-of-seven series, and it’s way too early to call it.  However, basketball fans have a lot to look forward to.

The Lakers Are Back In The Finals

The Lakers found out last night who their rival for the NBA Finals would be.  Some may have guessed that the final matchup would be these two teams, despite the Celtics putting up a good fight.  There’s no question that the Lakers are the leaders of the Western Conference, and they are looking to get their 17th championship.

On the other hand, the Heat were the No. 5 seed, and they reached the Finals after quite a few years without an appearance.  The Heat last saw a championship in 2013 and the last Conference title six years ago.


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For some, the Lakers are the favorite team in the series; however, the Heat have shown awesome play throughout the playoffs.  This Finals series will most likely be one of the hottest seen in recent years.

King James Returns

LeBron James is always achieving historic marks and these Finals won’t be the exception for him.  But James will have to face a unique challenge. About a decade ago, he began getting championships with his former team, which, surprisingly, was the Heat.  Now, the story has reverted.  James, as a superstar and an MVP, will have to compete against the team with which he once won the award.  James will face his former club in this Finals series for the first time in his career.

James is not the only one facing a similar challenge.  In fact, Heat president Path Riley started his career as a coach with the Lakers, but since the time Riley quit the team back in 1990, he still has not competed against them in a Finals series either as a coach or as an executive.  This reality will change on Wednesday. It’s likely that Riley gets his tenth championship trophy against the team that allowed him to earn his first six.

Riley And James Shake Hands

Both Riley and James have not seen each other closely since LeBron’s last days with the Heat.  At that time, Riley tried to persuade James to stay with the team after losing the 2014 Finals. Riley said, “This stuff is hard. And you got to stay together, if you’ve got the guts. And you don’t find the first door and run out of it.” At least each part has been loyal to his employer.

In fact, the Lakers are true leaders in the season series. In the current season, both teams competed two times as all Finals rivals do, and the Lakers won both games.  In the first matchup, the Lakers beat the Heat with a 95-80 victory. Things seemed to be better for the Heat when the score changed in the second round, but the Lakers won again, 113-110. Of course, it was a tight result.


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No result should be predicted prior to the start of the Finals. We have to consider that the Lakers and the Heat have not played each other since December due to the temporary shutdown of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Heat Look To Make History

Back in February, the Heat acquired two new guys, Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, at the trade deadline.  These players have major roles in the team and both will be vital in defending James. Things won’t be easy for LeBron – he has to be very forceful.  Iguodala won an MVP award mostly because of his effort defending James in 2015.  Crowder is very familiar with LeBron; he has played with and against him.

We don’t know what might come up in this series.  The Finals seems to be uncertain for the Heat at this point.  Nobody knows who the next champion of the NBA will be; however, no five-seed has ever won a championship.  Maybe this is the year.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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