No one would have dared to bet on the lakers in the fight for the NBA ring earlier in the season, taking into account the way they started the championship: with 10 losses in the first 12 games. What’s more, at the end of December, the Californian team was third from bottom in the West. And yet, there they are: rubbing shoulders in the conference final with the intractable Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggetsin a fight that will begin at dawn from Tuesday to Wednesday at 2:30 a.m.) and within the options poker to lift the trophy Larry O’Brien of champion together with the two winners of the East: Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. lebron, however, has done it again. At 38 years old, in his twentieth season in the League, when many had ruled out the Lakers from the equation due to the numerous injuries that have caused King James and also to Anthony Davis (53 between the two) and the lack of chemistry between the two stars of the team and Russell Westbrook. Suddenly, the lakers They work like a precision machine, especially in the Crypto.com Arenaand have become the second best defensive team in the competition to give lebron a new opportunity to fight for his fifth ring (the same number that he achieved Kobe Bryant, to one of Michael Jordan) and grow his legacy.
Is it a real option? Because of the way the Lakers are playing, it should not be ruled out, no matter how much Denver be present at the west ende with the bets clearly in their favor and home court advantage in the best-of-seven tie.
What has changed in the team led by Darvin Hamtemporary former player in Grenade (1999) so that their options have skyrocketed since the failed start to the season?
The operations carried out by the general manager, Rob Pelinka In the winter market they have achieved what seemed impossible: put together a team in a tournament at lebron and davis. They have disappeared from the initial template Westbrook, Beverley, Toscano-Anderson, Nunn, Thomas Bryant and Matt Ryan. Instead they have comeor D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbiltand have gained prominence Austin Reaves, Dennis Schroder and Lonnie Walker to give the block the reliability they needed.
For the Nuggets the Western final is not only a huge challenge. Also in a huge opportunity to take revenge for the defeat before the Lakers when they crossed paths in the West final in the 2020 ‘bubble’.
Nikola Jokic live one of the best moments of his career. “He is one of the best pivots in history,” he acknowledged. Durant after losing to the Suns in the semifinals. His numbers were amazing: a triple-double with 34.5 points, 13.2 rebounds and 10.3 assists, and with him they have taken a step forward Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon or Michael Porter. In the pulse between Jokicunstoppable in attack, and Anthony Davis, one of the best defenders of the championship, will decide, to a large extent, the outcome of the confrontation.
Tatum vs. Butler
The final of the East between the Celtics and the Heat, that will begin at dawn from Wednesday to Thursday (02:30 am) and that it will be a repetition of the final lived a year ago that won the side of Boston for a tight 4-3. The Celtics, hooked on the talent of Jason Tatum, who went up to 51 points in the decisive game against the Sixers (new record in a seventh game) have plenty of resources: Jayleen Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Robert Williams. Miamiwho opened the door to the ‘playoffs’ after qualifying as eighth through the ‘playin’, is also experiencing a plethorical moment hooked on his star, they will need the best version of Jimmy Butler who was at the All Star level in the series against the Milwaukee Bucks (37.6 points) to challenge the Celtics, despite the fact that Erik Spölstra has built a solidarity block in which Bam Adebayo, Max Strus or Gabe Vincent have stepped forward, as have veterans like Kevin Love and Kyle Lowry.