The Lakers were able to close out the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the WCF on Thursday night. Murray and Jokič played their best hand, but it wasn’t enough for the seasoned Lakers squad. We know that a 3-1 2020 playoff series normally has Denver chomping at the bit, but we also can’t see a win like that happening three times in one post-season. It’s the L.A. Lakers we’re talking about.
Over on the other side of the bracket, we can see the Miami Heat also up 3-1 in front of Boston. What’s the point? The point is: whether we see Boston or Miami in the NBA Finals (and the Lakers take care of business in the WCF), LeBron will need to play his best basketball.
The Lakers and Celtics rivalry dates back to 1959, with the Boston Celtics winning 9 out of the 12 NBA Finals matches between the two since then. LeBron James as well as Anthony Davis will have to do it for the Lakers, do it for the legacy, and do it for Kobe. We’ve heard it all before in the NBA media, even when James wins he still loses. And if LeBron doesn’t come out on top in this scenario, NOBODY will let him live it down.
On the other hand, the more probable hand, we have the Lakers going up against the Heat. James’ 4 year stint in Miami is where he grew up, it’s also where he played under the supervision of Erik Spoelstra. This hungry Heat team will try hard to add another title to Pat Riley‘s trophy case, and they might even play a 2-3 zone on defense to do it. But again, LeBron will be under immense pressure to take down the franchise that helped facilitate his first two championships.
Either way, the legacy that is LeBron James will be harshly discriminated with not only another Finals loss, but a loss to a current franchise rival and a long time franchise friend.