The Lakers Are 2020 World Champions!
By Issac Rangel
The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA Champions once again, after a 10 year wait. The long and rough 2019-20 NBA season is officially over, and for the Lakers, it ended in the best way possible–earning their 17th NBA title to tie it up with their rivals from the east, the Boston Celtics, with the most championships in NBA history.
After finishing with the second best record in the NBA, and the best record in the Western Conference, the Lakers had looked forward to the playoffs in a bubble in Orlando, which they knew were going to be very competitive and different, especially with no home crowd advantage.
Their first playoff series after 7 years of not reaching them, was against a very motivated and strong Portland Trail Blazers team. A lot of analysts and people were saying that the Blazers might be the best ever 8th seed in NBA history after winning most of their seeding games to climb up to clinch a playoff spot, and having Damian Lillard (pictured at left, courtesy Yahoo Sports) playing some of his best basketball ever. However, the Lakers managed to take them out in five games.
Next up was James Harden’s Houston Rockets. And once again, the Lakers won the series in five games and LeBron and AD proved to be too dominant for the short Rockets team.
Next, the Lakers were in the Western Conference finals, waiting for the long awaited and hyped up match up with their city rivals, the Clippers. Things didn’t turn out as expected at all, however, as the Clippers ended up blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round, and had the NBA world shocked. So, it was the Nuggets and the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, and the dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis were yet again too powerful, eliminating the Nuggets in five games also.
Finally, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals, after 10 years of not making it that far. Their opponent was a bit of a shocker once again–a young, talented, and gritty Miami Heat squad, led by Jimmy Butler. This was the Lakers toughest series yet. Even though the Lakers won the first two games by double digit margins, making game 1 look too easy in a blowout for the Lakers, The Miami Heat never backed down. They ended up winning game 3 with a historic performance by Jimmy Butler (a 40-point triple-double). In game 4, however, the Lakers and LeBron James knew it was a must win to go up 3-1 and feel more comfortable, and they did just that.
However, like I said, the Heat did not back down–they won game 5 and gave the Lakers their first ever loss in the Mamba Jerseys, which had everyone shocked and Lakers fans feeling a bit nervous.
Game 6 had arrived, and the Lakers came out very strong, taking a big lead in the 2nd quarter and never looking back. They ended up blowing out the Heat by a score of 106-93, and winning their long-awaited 17th NBA championship (celebration at right; source: Getty Images).
LeBron James won his 4th finals MVP after putting up a 28-10-14 triple-double in game 6. The Lakers, of course were emotional, and very happy, to dedicate this championship to the late, great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant who passed away earlier this year. The team ended up doing it for the city of Los Angeles, Lakers fans, but most importantly for Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who helped motivate them to get past each and every challenge that was in their way. As Kobe would have said, “THE JOB IS FINISHED!”