It’s been assumed for the past couple of day, but now we can present it as an indisputable fact: the Los Angeles Lakers are your 2019-20 NBA Champions.
The Lakers earned their 17th title in team history on Wednesday with a 122-96 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum. The Lakers won the series 4-1.
Given how much hype there was around Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks going into the postseason, it was surprising to see the series only go to five games. However, the Lakers made it very clear early on that they were the better team because they had the best player on the court the entire series. I’m, of course, talking about LeBron James.
James capped off yet another dominant NBA Finals run with a monstrous stat line of 33 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal. For the series, he averaged 32.2 points, 7 rebounds, 9 rebounds and 2 steals per game.
It’s unclear how much James, at 35 years old, will be able to keep up this type of production, but as long as he is, the Lakers will be a title contender. That will hold especially true if his co-star Anthony Davis re-signs with the team in the offseason.
Davis failed to get past the 20-point mark once again, but he affected the game in plenty of other ways, notching 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Without him, the Bucks probably would have had an easier time sharing the wealth — but because he’s such a dominant force on the defensive end, the Bucks had to solely rely on their stars for offense. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, that wasn’t enough in the end.
In terms of scoring, Davis did enough damage in the first three round to finish as the team’s second-leading scorer. His Finals series averages were 26.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.6 blocks and a steal per game.
The Lakers will try and negotiate a deal with Davis in free agency, and while talks were already expected to go well, a championship likely sealed the deal. For now, though, let’s enjoy No. 17.
Congratulations, fellas! — and a special congratulations to Dwight Howard for winning his first-ever championship ring. He wasn’t the only one, but his was significant for obvious reasons. Let’s run it back next year.