By: The Intermission Staff
If you said three months ago we would see an NBA Champion crowned, many would think you were an optimist. Fast forward to September 30 and we have Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. Here are our staff's 2020 NBA Finals predictions:
Alex - Heat in 7
Both myself and Joseph predicted this would be the NBA Finals matchup in January, before the pandemic was even a thought. I stuck with my Lakers, Heat prediction for months and we are finally here. One thing I didn't say in my prediction article was which team would win. After watching the entirety of the NBA Playoffs, I have to go with the underdogs, the Miami Heat. Miami has surprised the world this post-season, but I knew they had it in them. Erik Spoelstra is one of the best coaches in NBA history, yes, history. His rotations are second to none and he will switch between man and zone in the blink of an eye. Lebron and crew are easily the favourites, but Lebron has struggled in the past against his former boss. If anyone can stop Lebron, it is Spo. I also think Miami's bench will keep the Lakers guessing. The Heat have rolled so many different payers during this run (11), I wouldn't be surprised if they roll 12 players throughout the playoffs. I definitely have some Heat bias but I believe in this team and think they have a great cast of players. Miami will be the 2020 NBA Champions.
Rob - Lakers in 6
With the Miami Heat proving they can close games better than any team in the Eastern Conference, they’ve found themselves facing off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Led by head coach Erik Spoelstra’s brilliant defensive schemes such as a 2-3 zone, the Heat were able to neutralize the likes of MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star point guard Kemba Walker. However, the Lakers have not only LeBron James, but also Anthony Davis who I believe will be the biggest X-Factor of this series. In the past, teams such as the 2011 Mavericks and 2013 Spurs played zone defense to neutralize what Lebron is great at; driving to the basket. However in this situation, Anthony Davis is the perfect counter as the biggest weakness of the zone is that it leaves the middle of the floor open. If Spoelstra decides to play zone, the Heat would be susceptible to giving up open foul line jumpers to Anthony Davis and offensive rebounds to LA's big men. Ultimately, the Lakers star power will overwhelm the Heat and LeBron James will win his fourth championship.
Chris - Lakers in 6
If the Los Angeles Lakers can cap it off and win a championship this year, it would be a near-perfect ending to this hectic NBA season. The Miami Heat will give the Lakers a long and gritty fight without a doubt. A big takeaway from this year's playoffs is that Miami is a real problem for the rest of the league. To keep it short, when two players on your team have nicknames like "Jimmy Gets Buckets" and "Tyler 'Bucket' Herro" it's safe to say that your team is going places. But the two-headed monsters in L.A. that we call Lebron James and Anthony Davis are two different problems that the Heat will have a hard time solving. And this Lakers squad has so much to gain from getting that winning a championship ring that will serve was enough motivation for L.A. to reach the top of the NBA mountain and beat Miami.If the Los Angeles Lakers can cap it off and win a championship this year, it would be a near-perfect ending to this hectic NBA season. The Miami Heat will give the Lakers a long and gritty fight without a doubt. A big takeaway from this year's playoffs is that Miami is a real problem for the rest of the league. To keep it short, when two players on your team have nicknames like "Jimmy Gets Buckets" and "Tyler 'Bucket' Herro" it's safe to say that your team is going places. But the two-headed monsters in L.A. that we call Lebron James and Anthony Davis are two different problems that the Heat will have a hard time solving. And this Lakers squad has so much to gain from getting that winning a championship ring that will serve was enough motivation for L.A. to reach the top of the NBA mountain and beat Miami.
Drew - Lakers in 6
If there’s anything we’ve learned in this year’s playoffs, it’s to never underestimate the underdog. We’ve seen underdogs like the Denver Nuggets make the Western Conference Finals, and the Miami Heat making the Eastern Conference Finals, beating the Boston Celtics in 6 games. But now, the underdog must face the top dog in the Los Angeles Lakers. Some advantages that the Heat have over the Lakers are the sheer amount of offensive firepower they hold and overall depth. However, this is where the Heat burn out. The Lakers have proven, game after game, that they play with a winning mentality, a Mamba Mentality if you will. Yes, we shouldn’t count out the underdogs in the Miami Heat. But the pure dominance from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and a bench full of bloodthirsty role players are too much to handle for the Heat. The only way the Heat can win this series is if Bam decides to lockdown Anthony Davis, and the Heat find a way to cover LeBron’s every step.
Joseph - Lakers in 6
I think this matchup may be the best we have seen all playoffs. Both teams are quite balanced, and I think Bam could be a very good matchup for AD. However, whenever Bam has to guard the Lakers centre, AD will be eating. LeBron is also a different type of beast in the finals, which will give the Lakers the edge. So, when it comes down to it I think the Heat will put up a fight, but it will end up being Lakers in 6.
Crina - Lakers in 6
In a bizarre playoff run, the Miami Heat knocked off the Indiana Pacers, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Boston Celtics. They had the belief that they could make it here even if other people did not have them making the NBA Finals. On the flip side, one LA team did make it out of the West. LeBron James and Anthony Davis lead the way as the Lakers ride one of the best seasons they've had in a long time. Kobe Bryant's legacy will definitely be a motivator for the Lakers, and I give them the edge over the Miami Heat. The Lakers are hungry for that title, and LeBron can will another team towards one.
Jamie - Heat in 7
The Miami Heat were underdogs against the Bucks. The Heat won in five. The Heat were underdogs against the Celtics. The Heat won that series in six. This NBA finals matchup is no different. Nobody outside of Miami thinks the Heat have a shot. Even Heat supporter Kendrick Perkins is writing them off. This is exactly what Jimmy Butler and the Heat want. The Heat are arguably the deepest team in the NBA. For the Heat to be successful this series, it’s up to their depth to step up. There’s no doubt the stars from both teams are going to shine. Lebron and AD are arguably the most dominant duo since Shaq and Kobe, and Bam and Jimmy Buckets have set the league on fire this postseason. The series will come down to which team’s role players step up. While the Lakers have the better star duo, the Heat definitely have a better depth unit. It’s up to rookie sensation Tyler Herro along with savvy veterans Jae Crowder, and Andre Iguodala to step up on the biggest stage if the Heat want a shot at this thing… And that’s exactly what I think is going to happen
Myles - Lakers in 6
I wanted to go LA in five but I think that wouldn’t be giving Miami enough credit for how they’ve played in the bubble. The Lakers enter the finals having only lost one game in each of their previous series’. There’s a simple reason for that- they have two of the best five players in the league. The explanation for why LA will win their 17th title is also simple, the Heat will not be able to guard both Lebron and AD. They might be able to guard one of them, but not both.
Sam - Lakers in 7
This series will go back and forth, each team having star-studded talent on the bench and starting. However, one player will stand out and make a difference in the finals. That player is Anthony Davis, he will be the reason why the Lakers win the Larry O’Brien trophy over the Heat. His dominance inside the paint and three-point shooting ability are too much for the Heat to handle, and you pair him with Lebron James. It’s game over, Lakers in seven.