NBA Finals: LA Lakers look to clinch title in Game 5
Game 5 of the NBA finals will be a super sizzler served with all the dressings that would make the final toppings suited to the taste buds of NBA fans in India . LA Lakers and Miami Heat are both going to dribble, dunk, shoot, drive and play tough to win this crucial game. Both teams are going to put all on stake and therefore a super game of basketball is going to be unleashed on Saturday.
A lot is at stake for both the teams .While LA Lakers’ Lebron James & Anthony Davis are determined to unleash their combined skills to dominate , the Heats duo of Jimmy Butler and a fit Goran Dragic, if he returns to play , can act spoilsport and snatch victory away from the Lakers .Odds though are stacked against Miami Heats, who trail 1-3.
Game 4 on Wednesday seems to have set the precursor to the battle of NBA crown where basketball gladiators take centre stage. The game was intense and the physical power and tough moves had left few players short of breath and few bruised bodies.
Lakers eventually scraped through with just six points separating them from Heats .Once Lakers led in the last 8 minutes they held on to win a tough game .All through the four quarters of the play it was anybody’s game, a seesaw battle with the lead changing hands consistently.
Lakers may have the NBA crown after gap of 10 years
The final score of 102-96 gave the Lakers a good 3-1 lead in the best of 7 NBA finals. Lakers franchise’s most coveted player, Lebron James, has combined well with Anthony Davis, who put up a stellar performance. The duo’s gritty performance has brought the Lakers close to their first NBA crown in the last ten years. This dream now is only a game away.
Miami can still spoil the party if Lakers lose to them and that will see the finals extended to game 6 . Lakers last won in 2010, under enigmatic star, the late Kobe Bryant. If Lakers win Game 5 , the NBA crown would be back with them after 10 years. It will be a fitting tribute to Bryant, whose love for Lakers was well known as he started in the yellow jersey and retired in it too, never leaving them for any other franchise.
Miami Heats can be tough in Game 5
Going with the pace of Game 4, Miami Heats are not likely to give space to Lakers on the court. Jimmy Butler has made his intentions clear when he pushed the win over Lakers with his 40 point-plus game. After the game he had said, “We shall give our best and give it all.”
The team has managed to put up a strong resistance despite two of their star players missing in action due to injury. While Goran Dragic was ruled out post the warm-ups, a half fit Adebayo took the court. A day off may give them a chance to come back fit .
For the sake of the game, the basketball fans would like a full strength Miami team that can test the Lakers .A cliff-hanger is on cards where the winner either way has a lot at stake .
Lebron James the lion may roar again
Fans witnessed an unusual Lebron in Game 4 as Anthony Davis sunk a three-pointer in the last 39 seconds. Lebron’s pent up emotions were let loose and he roared like a lion, egging his side to put the best foot forward for the NBA crown.
In the post match conference he reaffirmed, “The job is not yet over. We need to stay focussed and not rest.”
Statistics in finals in NBA though are in favour of the team that have secured a 3-1 lead. On 34 out of 35 such occasions the team with this kind of lead has won the crown.
Yet, Lebron knows statistics can be misleading for he himself pulled off a win while being 0-3 down not too long ago. The game is more like a battle of supremacy where both are nearly equals, the one who combines moves smartly and executes it seamlessly will scrap through.
(Rajiv Singh is a sports enthusiast who retired after spending 40 years in managing media businesses.)