The Denver Nuggets are waiting for their opponent for the NBA Finals. But we need to wait one more game for the outcome of the series between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. Facing elimination, the Celtics pulled out a win in Game 4 to keep the series alive.
Tatum Gives Celtics One More Day of Life
The Heat hoped to close out the Eastern Conference Final Series in game four. However, Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics did not intend to sit idly by. Their 116-99 win, with 34 points from Jayson Tatum, prevented the Miami Heat from sweeping.
Now, the series between Boston and Miami will go to a fifth game. Boston is holding its hopes for a historic comeback as the Heat look to close out the deal once and for all. But Boston’s victory has opened a small gap, sowing doubt.
Is Boston capable of a historic comeback? In reality, no team has been able to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. For now, Jimmy Butler and the Heat will do their best to finish the series in game five. Butler’s 29 points weren’t enough in game four, so the entire Heat cast will have to level up their game to avoid game six.
It should be noted that each additional game that the Heat requires to close the series is a game of unnecessary attrition. In a way, Denver will be happy that the series goes to seven games, regardless of who I won. In the end, attrition between the two clubs would leave whoever wins at a disadvantage.
For now, we will have to wait one more game to know the other NBA finalist in 2023. The Heat have to win tomorrow if they want to put the series to rest and get some additional downtime before meeting the Nuggets.
The Lakers Are No Longer Whole
LeBron James, who had already mentioned the possibility of his retirement, was absent on the Lakers’ final day of activities following their elimination from the playoffs. The 38-year-old star has expressed his desire to retire from the NBA.
After more than 1,400 professional games in the NBA, it seems that injuries have finally taken their toll on LeBron’s body. The 20 seasons with Cleveland, Miami and Los Angeles have left their mark, considering his last full season was in 2017-2018.
James’ absence from the Lakers’ locker room looks like a gift from the club to its superstar. They will give James all the space he needs while he makes a final decision. He leaves or stays. Whatever the decision, Lakers management will not rush its decision.
Life after LeBron will take a very different turn for Los Angeles. First, the Lakers will need to find a replacement who can consistently score between 25 and 30 points per game. These types of players are scarce; the ones that do exist are not cheap.
On the other hand, the Lakers will have to find a cast that can absorb James’ absence of leadership. Meanwhile, the presence of veteran players will be crucial to the future of the Lakers. Perhaps the interaction between young and veteran players can make up for the loss of LeBron.
The Lakers will likely enter a phase of reconstruction. If so, Lakers fans will have to prepare for some difficult years, something in the style of what has happened to the San Antonio Spurs. Perhaps another transcendental player will come who can lead the Lakers to a new stage of glory.