Beyond the Arc

By Ben Fiore

After a loooooong NBA season, the stage is finally set for the grand finale. Many ups and downs through this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the occurrences of social injustice. Though the NBA was able to recoup and resume operations to give us this star studded final that we are about to witness.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have survived the bubble out of the Western Conference. No real surprise here. They are a solid team all around but are also led by the current best overall talent in the world, Lebron James, with one of the best all around athletes in the game at his right hand in Anthony Davis. They have proven to be dominant, winning all 3 series this far in 5 games. They blew through the Trailblazers, Rockets, and Nuggets. They showed how strong they are and the chemistry they’ve built with each other. Although I do feel they are in for their toughest test yet this season with Miami heading into the finals.

That’s right, MY Miami Heat advances to the finals as a 5 seed. They made quite the progressional winning pattern taking down the Pacers in 4, the No. 1 seeded Bucks in 5 and the Celtics in 6. At the helm is a coach with a lot of experience in Erik Spoelstra. Who’s won finals before WITH LeBron and is now looking to succeed against him. That team is captained by possibly the best motivating leader currently in the game in Jimmy Butler. Butler has shined through the playoffs as has his young and talented supporting staff. Names like Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and others. I look for the Heat to rotate more players in like they have the last 2 series and keep their guys fresh. They need to do this because they’re going to need every ounce of passion and effort to beat this strong LA team. I feel that they CAN do it if they continue to produce fluid ball movement and create open shots. So in their progressional run, does this mean they take down the Lakers in 7?

There are a lot of storylines heading into this series that are truly intriguing. The Heat being a 5 seed in the finals. Jimmy finally making it there. LeBron reaching his 10th finals. Anthony Davis’ health status. LeBron facing his old team and coach which he won titles with. Spoelstra coaching against his former player. Igoudala getting to his 6th straight finals. Seeing if the bubble scenario and longer season had or has any effect on the reason these teams are here. The Lakers pressing on in honor of Kobe Bryant who passed this year. There is so much that goes into this.

I think it’s going to be physical, gritty and down right entertaining. The Heat will make it a series because they’ve got more heart than most teams I’ve ever seen. But I have to choose my basketball knowledge over my fan hood and I see the Lakers winning in 6. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s just my opinion. No matter what happens though, every single game of the series will be “must watch” television. Within the next 2 weeks, we will crown an NBA champion.