After an extremely competitive game 5, where the Miami Heat played a great team game to stave off elimination, the Los Angeles Lakers wasted little to no time to assert their dominance in game 6 and never took their feet off the gas.
You wouldn't know that when game 6 tipped-off, but after the first quarter and Goran Dragic looking ready to come off the bench and the Lakers adding Alex Caruso to their starting lineup; it looked like we would be in for another tough fought battle throughout the whole game. The Lakers ended the 1st quarter with a 28-20 lead, but it wasn't until the 2nd quarter when the damns bust open, no matter how hard the Heat tried to stop them.
The Heat doing everything they can to try stopping LeBron 😅 pic.twitter.com/MJ9d6rgFhc— ESPN (@espn) October 12, 2020
In the second quarter, the Lakers put on their best impersonation of the old school Lake show. One player who had a major role in this was "Playoff Rondo". Rajon Rondo has a history of turning it on in the playoffs, and with 6:18 left in the 2nd Quarter, Rondo had 11 PTS on 5/5 FG and the Lakers suddenly had a 15 point lead.
Rondo's spark ignited the whole team, which lead them to outscore Miami in the quarter, leaving them up at halftime 64-36, allowing Anthony Davis to put up 15 pts and 2 blocks, Kentavious Caldwell Pope had scored 15 points, along with Rondo's 13 points on 6/6 shooting to go with Lebron's 11 pts, 9 reb and six assists in the first half alone. To put into context the hole that the Heat had dug themselves:
The largest halftime deficit a team has overcome in the Finals is 21, according to @ESPNStatsInfo. And that was in 1948 when it was still the Basketball Association of America -- not the NBA.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) October 12, 2020
Tonight, the Heat trail the Lakers by 28 at half.
In contrast, the Miami Heat at the half had no players in double figures. The Laker's defensive intensity was on full display from tip-off to the final Buzzer and things didn't get much better for the Heat who would end the 3rd down 87-58. The decision to play Dragic looked to be the wrong one as he appeared to still be suffering from his plantar fasciitis and never really seemed to find his rhythm and this would continue throughout the final buzzer as the Lakers defensive was able to stop the Heat from every getting into a flow on offense.
Key Take-Aways From Each Team:
Los Angeles Lakers:
- In Lebron James 17 year career, he was played for a total of 3 franchises and won 4 rings so far. He was without a doubt easily able to put himself in the conversation for a top 5 basketball player of all time and still has some season's left to go.
- A large part of Lebron's success is how (with the exception of last season), Lebron has remained largely indestructible - making his 153rd consecutive playoff game and has never missed one in his entire career.
- It will be interesting how long the franchise will be able to keep both stars together moving forward; especially with Lebron growing older with each passing season.
- Jimmy Butler, per usual, left everything he had out on the floor this playoff run. Coming into tonight's game, Jimmy averaged 42.7 mins per game in the finals and 36.6 minutes per game throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs.
- The Heat's younger core players didn't play exceptionally well tonight, which largely was the difference in the game - but they've gained a lot of playoff experience that should help the franchise thrive for years to come. With Jimmy and Bam back, there is no reason the can't be back in the finals again next year.
With all that being said, Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA: 2020 NBA Champions and to the NBA for making it through a successful season without a single positive test amid this pandemic! Hope you enjoyed it, because it's like the last NBA ball we get until February!
JOB'S FINISHED: YOUR LOS ANGELES LAKERS ARE NBA CHAMPIONS pic.twitter.com/Dnxtgt9i1d— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 12, 2020