The Los Angeles Lakers have done it. With a 106-93 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, they have brought the longest and most taxing season in basketball history to a close, and are officially your 2020 NBA champions.
With their 17th title, they have now tied the Boston Celtics for the most championships in NBA history.
This one was a bloodbath almost right from the start. Frank Vogel gave Alex Caruso the first start of his playoff career, and the move gave the Lakers a spark of energy, especially on the defensive end. Their help and rotations were much crisper than they were in Game 5 — or, really, at any point in this series — and they were leading by 8 points at the end of the first quarter.
But if the Heat thought that was bad, they hadn’t seen anything yet. The Lakers’ offense exploded in the second quarter too, with the team’s defensive intensity translating into stops and easy fast break buckets. They outscored the Heat 36-16 in the second frame of the game, never taking their foot off the gas while building a 28-point halftime lead — the second-largest halftime advantage in the history of the NBA Finals.
The Lakers never let up from there, outscoring the Heat in the third quarter and continuing to glide to victory from there. LeBron James was, as he has been all year, the Lakers’ MVP, finishing with 28 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds, all while pushing this team in transition and refusing to let them have any chance of losing. He is 35 years old, but just put up his 11th triple-double in NBA Finals history. Anyone who said he came to L.A. just to make movies and retire has to be feeling awfully stupid after the year he just put together. He was a deserved Finals MVP:
Full Finals MVP balloting result ... pic.twitter.com/c27D53cjYY— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 12, 2020
LeBron James, who is appearing in his 260th career playoff game tonight -- which passes Derek Fisher (259) for the most all-time -- has 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists -- for his 28th career postseason triple-double, second only to Magic Johnson (30).— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 12, 2020
Anthony Davis was just as capable a co-star as he’s been all season, a endless-limbed menace defensively who didn’t look the least bit gimpy after his Game 5 heel injury, finishing with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks. He and James are a perfect pair, and the Lakers are indescribably lucky they were able to get both of them on the same roster.
Every Laker that played contributed, but especially good was Rajon Rondo activated his Finals Rondo setting to give the Lakers a boost in the first half. He ended the game with 19 points and 4 assists off the bench, and after all the criticism he took from fans and analysts like this idiot, it was a perfect reminder of why James and Davis wanted him as a Laker so badly. Similarly amazing while wrapping up a great playoff run was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who appeared to have superhuman speed in transition while scoring 17 points. Far more than a Klutch tax, he genuinely contributed to help secure his first title.
Normally, this is where we tell you when you can catch the next Lakers game, but with this win, they avoid a Game 7, so we don’t know when that will be. In fact, we don’t even know for certain when the NBA will be back. But for tonight, that doesn’t matter at all. The season is over, and after 10 long years, the Lakers are back on top, right where they’re supposed to be.
Celebrate responsibly, but really try to savor this one. We don’t know when the next title or game will come, and after one of the most unpredictable years in the history of human civilization, we should just live in this moment right now, and we should take happiness wherever we can get it. This team gave us a lot of that this year, and now that they’ve proved they are the best team in the NBA, we can stop analyzing and debating about it, and just sit back and enjoy it.
Thank you all for reading Silver Screen and Roll, and I hope you’ve enjoyed coming on this journey with this community as much as I’ve enjoyed having all of you be a part of it.