The Los Angeles Lakers can clinch their 17th championship in franchise history on Friday night by defeating the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The pairing of Anthony Davis and LeBron James has proven to be even more dominant than many thought, as they are one win away from becoming the first team to win every single playoff series in exactly five games.
In just about 36 minutes per game each, the two superstars have combined averages of 55.1 points, 19.8 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 2.4 steals, and 2.2 blocks on an absurd 56.1% shooting.
They’ve done all this while also outworking opponents on the defensive end, taking series that could have been competitive and ending it before it ever got the chance to become that. However, the Heat — more so than any other opponent the Lakes have faced — will not go away so easily.
They have earned their place in the Finals and believe that they should be the ones to come out on top. To do so, Miami will need to start with a win in Game 5 down 3-1. No team has accomplished the feat against the Lakers.
Miami also faces the long odds of trying to beat the Lakers in their Black Mamba City Edition uniforms. L.A. changed their plans to wear them Friday instead of waiting until a potential Game 7 to use them again. So far this postseason, the Lakers are 4-0 when wearing the jersey designed by Kobe Bryant.
The Heat will likely continue to be without Goran Dragic for Game 5, as he has valiantly made every effort to be available but cannot quickly recover from a torn plantar fascia.
Jerseys alone will not get the job done, but the Lakers have shown that they don’t like to lose while representing Bryant. The Heat will undoubtedly give the Lakers everything they have left in the tank to try and extend the series.
With the Lakers’ 17th championship potentially being clinched on Friday, fans will be ready to celebrate. However, they will not be allowed to do outside the Staples Center or L.A. Live due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Staples Center will not show this game outside the arena and will limit vehicle access to the area.
Lakers (3-1) vs. Heat (1-3)
6:00 p.m. PT, Oct. 9, 2020
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Orlando, Florida
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Dwight Howard
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris
Projected Heat Starting Lineup:
PG: Duncan Robinson
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Bam Adebayo
Key Reserves: Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn, Solomon Hill
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