The 2020 NBA Finals is finally upon us. After the grueling Conference Finals, we have the two teams who'll tough it out for the ultimate prize- LA Lakers and Miami Heat. Both the teams have made it to this stage for the first time in years and are ready to give it their all.
This year's NBA Finals will be as unique as it can get as it'll be the first one to be played without fans in attendance. However, the craziness doesn't end there. There are several numbers and facts about the upcoming NBA Finals between LA Lakers and Miami Heat that will leave you in disbelief.
Without further ado, let us look at five such crazy facts.
#1 First NBA Finals with both teams missing playoffs the previous season
Both the LA Lakers and Miami Heat failed to make the postseason last year. In fact, both franchises finished as the 10th seed in their respective conferences in the 2018-19 season. They turned things up a notch this time around and fought their way to the NBA Finals.
#2 Pat Riley reaches the NBA Finals for the sixth straight decade
Miami Heat President Pat Riley has completed the ultimate trifecta in the NBA. He's won the Larry O'Brien Trophy as a player, as a coach, and as an executive. He's made it to the NBA Finals in every decade since the 1970s. He reached the NBA Finals as a player with the LA Lakers in the '70s, as a coach in the '80s and '90s, both as a coach and an executive in the 2000s, and purely as an executive in the 2010s and 2020s.
#3 LeBron James' record-breaking NBA Finals appearance with LA Lakers
This will be LeBron James' 10th NBA Finals appearance, his ninth in the last decade. Interestingly, he has made it to this stage of the competition more times than 27 other franchises now. Only the LA Lakers (32), Boston Celtics (21), and Golden State Warriors (11) have more.
#4 Miami Heat's distributed scoring puts history in their favor
The Miami Heat became the fifth team to have a different scoring leader in each of the first three rounds before the NBA Finals. Goran Dragic led the team in points in the First Round, Jimmy Butler took over in the Conference Semifinals, while Bam Adebayo topped the team scorers in the Conference Finals.
The four other teams to do this are the 84-85 as well as 87-88 LA Lakers, 89-90 Detroit Pistons, and the 98-99 San Antonio Spurs. All these teams went on to win the NBA Championship.
#5 Shaq's NBA Finals legacy
Shaquille O'Neal has made it to the NBA Finals six times in his career, once with the Orlando Magic, four times with LA Lakers, and once with Miami Heat. However, his teammates have appeared in way more of them. In fact, this will be the 37th straight year where a teammate of Shaq will be playing in the NBA Finals.
The 2020 NBA Finals between LA Lakers and Miami Heat tips off this Wednesday.
Published 29 Sep 2020, 05:00 IST