For the ninth time in 10 years, LeBron James is playing in the NBA Finals, as he and the LA Lakers are four wins away from an NBA championship. Who will they play, though? That is unknown right now as it will either be the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics. However, Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal just recently revealed which team the Lakers actually want to play in the Finals.
LeBron James and the LA Lakers are headed to the 2020 NBA Finals
It’s been a very long NBA season. It got suspended in March due to COVID-19, and then, after resuming play in the bubble, it almost completely ended due to the players growing tired of the racism and social injustices taking place in America.
However, we have finally gotten to the NBA Finals, as LeBron James and the Lakers just punched their tickets to the championship round.
After beating both the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets in five games in the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs, the Lakers then defeated the Denver Nuggets in five games in the Western Conference Finals. James was great in the series-clinching Game 5 win over the Nuggets too, as he recorded 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists, to reach his ninth NBA Finals in 10 years, and 10th NBA Finals overall.
James has played great throughout the entire playoff run. He is averaging 26.7 points per game, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists during the run thus far. However, he also arguably has his best teammate of all-time talent-wise playing next to him this year in Anthony Davis. During their playoff run so far, Davis is averaging 28.8 points per game and 9.3 rebounds.
Now, the Lakers must await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals to see who they will play in the NBA Finals.
The Heat and Celtics are still playing in the Eastern Conference Finals
It appeared that the Miami Heat were going to run through the Eastern Conference Finals rather quickly. They ultimately jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series, and then a 3-1 lead. They have multiple star players who helped them do it too.
The Heat are, of course, led by Jimmy Butler, who is averaging 18.4 points per game so far in the series, but they also have Goran Dragic, who is averaging 22 points per game so far, Bam Adebayo (19.8 points per game, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists), and Tyler Herro (19.2 points per game).
However, the Boston Celtics won Game 5, 121-108, and now have an excellent opportunity to tie the series 3-3 in Game 6. Boston also has several talented players. They have Jayson Tatum, who is averaging 27 points per game, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists so far in the series, Jaylen Brown (22.6 points per game and 7 rebounds), Kemba Walker (19.6 points per game), and Marcus Smart (16.4 points per game and 6 assists).
So, the Lakers will have a tough matchup, no matter who they play. Who do they want to face, though?
Shaquille O’Neal revealed who the Lakers want to play
Shaquille O’Neal was on Inside the NBA recently, and he revealed which team the Lakers would actually like to play in the NBA Finals.
“Something tells me they want the Miami Heat,” O’Neal said, according to Bleacher Report. “I’m not allowed to give you my sources, but I know they want the Miami Heat.”
Well, that’s interesting. Do they want the Heat because they think they are the easier team to beat? Or, does LeBron James have somewhat of a vendetta against his former team?
It’s hard to tell what the reasoning is, but according to Shaq, the Lakers want the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference