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The 2020 NBA Finals: Los Angeles vs. Miami


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HIGHTY TIGHTY, CHRIST ALMIGHTY!  MIAMI'S IN THE NBA FINALS!  

I'm honestly more excited by this than I have been in a long, long time.  They weren't supposed to beat Indiana.  They weren't supposed to beat Milwaukee.  They weren't supposed to beat Boston.   They're not supposed to beat LA.  

One more time... 

LET'S FUCKING GO.

Games start Wednesday.   

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I have to admit, I was wrong.  I called Anthony Davis the most overrated player in the NBA, and he's played great.  Of course, it's all in the shadow of LeBron, which takes a ton of pressure off of him, but while he's not the lead dog, he pulls his own weight (unlike another so-called MVP in the shadow of a player whose gravity requires doubleteams at half court).  I thought the Lakers supporting cast was remarkably weak, but they've been outstanding.  Frank Vogel is a real coach who has been able to coax brilliance and efficiency out of Rondo and Dwight that I thought was long gone (goddammit).  And, LeBron, what can you really say?  He's the best player in the NBA.  You can't fault him for his greatness.  There are times he just wins.  It happens.  You can't stop it. 

Miami in 4.

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Does Miami have to give him one, if they win? I know teams often do that, but I thought it was voluntary, and I can't imagine they want to do anything nice for him.

Miami plays a great, stifling defense and Bam is becoming a full blown star. I don't think they are good enough to beat L.A., but they've made a hell of an art of beating on paper better teams.

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13 minutes ago, Infinit said:

Raptors didn't give one to JV last year, so 🤷🏾‍♂️

Seriously?  He was a Raptor for years what the fuck?

I genuinely love what the Heat have done and their chemistry has been great but there is no way I'm taking Jimmy/Bam over Lebron/AD

Lakers in 6

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36 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

Does Miami have to give him one, if they win? I know teams often do that, but I thought it was voluntary, and I can't imagine they want to do anything nice for him.

Miami plays a great, stifling defense and Bam is becoming a full blown star. I don't think they are good enough to beat L.A., but they've made a hell of an art of beating on paper better teams.

Milwaukee was the only matchup I thought they were clear underdogs. I thought the pacers would have put up more fight before losing but expected Miami to win both that series and the ECF. I do think there is a significant gap between them and LAL. Butler can't go missing for halves at a time. Robinson and Herro need to be consistent. Can Bam expose the two bigs on the offensive end? Will he defend AD and leave one of their 25 small forwards to defend either Howard or McGee? Crowder and Butler will probably rotate defending LeBron, I'd have to imagine. But there are paths to victory for Miami. The Lakers supporting cast has been so good but if that dries up, we could have a series. Lakers in 5 though. 

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36 minutes ago, Jiji said:

Milwaukee was the only matchup I thought they were clear underdogs. I thought the pacers would have put up more fight before losing but expected Miami to win both that series and the ECF. I do think there is a significant gap between them and LAL. Butler can't go missing for halves at a time. Robinson and Herro need to be consistent. Can Bam expose the two bigs on the offensive end? Will he defend AD and leave one of their 25 small forwards to defend either Howard or McGee? Crowder and Butler will probably rotate defending LeBron, I'd have to imagine. But there are paths to victory for Miami. The Lakers supporting cast has been so good but if that dries up, we could have a series. Lakers in 5 though. 

Miami will go small and McGee and Dwight will be unplayable.  Just like in the Rockets series.

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1 hour ago, Lawful Metal said:

Miami will go small and McGee and Dwight will be unplayable.  Just like in the Rockets series.

Well you’re also the same genius that wrote a post basically blowing both Lebron and AD then you picked Miami in 4 so I’m not gonna put much stock in any of your projections. 

To be clear I’d say Miami wins in 6, but I don’t see Dwight being unplayable. He’ll at least give AD some rest, and (badly) attempt to guard Bam while doing that. In order for him not to play at all like you’re suggesting either AD has to play 40+ minutes or Miami has to sit Bam for more minutes than AD does, and there’s no convincing argument for either of those happening.

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11 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

 

Dolfan out of curiosity, and also to hopefully win myself some money which of those two do you see having a bigger game 1 tomorrow? I know I’m using Bam, Dragic, and both of them but I’m not sure which one I should use in the 1.5x points slot. Also do you think Dragic is a better choice than Crowder? That was my toughest choice.

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Dragon is so weird because some games he's shooting lights out, other games, he's just a dime machine.  Crowder was at one point on pace to shatter the 3 Pt Made for any Heat Postseason and then he just suddenly went ice cold.  

Crowder is there to stop LeBron. That's priority 1-100 for him.  Any points he gets is gravy.  

If I'm choosing between them, I'd go with Goran.  

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6 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Dragon is so weird because some games he's shooting lights out, other games, he's just a dime machine.  Crowder was at one point on pace to shatter the 3 Pt Made for any Heat Postseason and then he just suddenly went ice cold.  

Crowder is there to stop LeBron. That's priority 1-100 for him.  Any points he gets is gravy.  

If I'm choosing between them, I'd go with Goran.  

Thanks for the help. I had similar thoughts on Crowder, but I feel safer knowing someone that’s seen more Miami games than I have this season feels that way. 

And I also asked for help as I apparently suck at FanDuel. 😂 Last night I played a $3 contest for the MNF game. I used my MVP slot on Mahomes, and I picked Hardman, Hill, and Tucker since you have to pick at least one from each team. For my last slot I was between Edwards-Helaire and Kelce. So like an idiot I picked Kelce, and came in tied for 12th (winning $98). If I’d went with Edwards-Helaire I’d have been in a 3 way tie for first and have won $2,750. This was after Saturday when I chose Murray and Rondo over AD and Caruso (which would have netted me $2,500 for a $3 investment).

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Is there a site that has stats for players defending specific players? I feel like Crowder got torched by Bron during the 2017 ECF. They can throw Crowder, Butler, and Iguodala at him though, with Jae and Andre playing aggressively. But in reality it'll be a team game plan with lots and lots of help. Looking at basketball reference, James averaged just under 30 per game. 

I'm fascinated by the Bam and AD matchup though. That is so exciting. Obviously at this stage, AD is a more complete player but defensively there isn't much between them and there are not many players I'd say are better built to defend Davis' inside-out game. Don't think the BBQ chicken is going to be as easy to get this series for AD.

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15 hours ago, Jiji said:

I'm fascinated by the Bam and AD matchup though. That is so exciting. Obviously at this stage, AD is a more complete player but defensively there isn't much between them and there are not many players I'd say are better built to defend Davis' inside-out game. Don't think the BBQ chicken is going to be as easy to get this series for AD.

An interesting angle on this matchup I hadn't though of--and didn't think of, but am stealing from Zach Lowe's preview: Bam is obviously Miami's best answer to AD. But if Davis is competent/confident from 3, Bam will have to abdicate rim protection duties, which means LeBron will attack. Given that, maybe you'd rather have him on Howard or McGee, when they're in. 

Regarding defending LeBron, I think a key here is Butler being assertive on offense early and consistently. He needs to make LeBron expend himself on the defensive end, or I'm not sure it will matter how Miami defends him. (Alternatively--again, stealing from Lowe--Dragic could be so good on the PNR that LeBron has to take up that responsibility, since he could also plausibly switch onto Bam. I think Miami would be happy to have him burning that candle.)

Anyway, this is where I say I don't have a good prediction--because I don't--and declare that it's a make-or-miss league, so who knows?

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Indeed.

Fascinating that LA is running with Howard (he played so well, so I get it) and Miami has Crowder on AD and Bam on LeBron with Jimmy patrolling the paint and occasionally checking in on Howard but really waiting for the double team.

My God, the quality of play is so high right now. I LOVE IT. 

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