LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — Thanks to an impressive 34 point, nine-rebound performance in a 116-98 rout of the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers power forward Anthony Davis made a solid case for NBA Finals MVP.
Davis, who never made it past the second round during his first seven seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, made his presence known in his Finals debut in finishing one rebound short of a double-double, scored the fourth-most debut points in NBA Finals history since the NBA-ABA merger.
Whether it was inside, outside, on the perimeter or down in the post, the Heat had no answers for Davis, as he seemingly did as he wished. Thanks to his impressive display of dominance along with LeBron James’ usual all-around brilliance in scoring 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists as well as the Lakers getting some quality contributions from Danny Green (11 points), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (13 points), Alex Caruso (10 points) and Markieff Morris (8 points), the Lakers are three wins away from their 17th title.
While some will point out that the over-achieving Heat lost Bam Adebayo (shoulder) and Goran Dragic (foot) now look both short-handed and outmanned en route to a possible sweep, Miami still has the always-tough Jimmy Butler and perhaps the hottest shooter reaming in the bubble in rookie sniper, Tyler Herro.
It’s only Game 1, but the way that AD played in Game 1, with LeBron playing second fiddle, and the Los Angeles Lakers getting timely shooting from outside, Davis is a shoo-in to get both his first NBA title ring and Finals MVP.