Who will win the NBA Playoffs?


Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics on the right. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Chief Analyst Huck Jamison:

The Miami Heat will be the team to win the 2020 NBA Championship. This isn’t based around the fact that 2020 has been a wild year as a whole, but rather that the Heat are the most versatile and adaptable team left in the NBA bubble.
The team’s main flaw is the lack of a “superstar” that most title contenders need in order to be successful, though they do have Jimmy Butler, whom I consider a top 15 NBA player. However, the remainder of the Miami Heat roster has proven to work well with this era of basketball. Primarily, they have a very strong defensive lineup with the ability to shift matchups night by night. Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who are both able to guard multiple positions on the floor, which is vital in this day and age in the NBA, will be one of many factors that will contribute to their success. With the bigger and more mobile players like Giannis or Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo is able to match their athleticism and playmaking ability while still having the proper size at six foot nine inches.
The Heat also has a large advantage with the “bubble” scenario that has been taking place. It is easier for shooters to get hot in smaller arenas without crowds than in the typical crowd packed NBA arenas, as the depth perception of the hoop is easier to manage. The Heat benefit from this as they have perimeter shooters such as Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson with the ability on any given night to get very hot and start knocking down shot after shot.
Finally, Jimmy Butler will be the “X factor” for this team down the stretch. He has proven to be a great leader throughout the season and has the ability to propel this team to success which is something not many other players in the NBA could do without a true second star. He has proved his ability to come through for his team, as in the first two games of the Eastern Conference SemiFinals. He scored an efficient forty points in game one and knocked down the game-winning free throws with no time left on the clock. The finals matchup will be their greatest test against most likely the Lakers, but with their versatility, I truly believe this team will leave Orlando on top of the basketball world.

Sports Editor Tyler Weisberg:
Although I am not a Boston Celtics fan, considering the amount of depth the team has, I believe that they should win the 2020 Finals. The Celtics have swept the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs and are now up 2-1 against the Toronto Raptors.
During the regular season, Jason Tatum, the Celtics’ star power forward, put up a stellar 23.4 points per game, and his field goal percentage was 45 percent for both regular and 3-point field goals. Coming off a phenomenal season, Tatum has made leaps and bounds this season, and this can be reflected in his stats. He made the All-Star team this season for the first time despite being only 21 years old. To me, he is a top-3 power forward in the league, but more importantly Tatum is not alone.

Two other crucial players in the roster, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, are two of the league’s most offensive players. Those two, along with Tatum, help make the Boston Celtics the only team in the league to have three players score over 20 points per game. After being under load management throughout the seeding games, Walker has continued to look better and better in the series against the 76ers. The offensive backcourt duo of Walker and Brown, in my opinion, is top two among the teams that still remain in the playoffs, only behind Harden and Westbrook from the Houston Rockets.
People often overlook the Celtics’ defense capabilities. Not only does the team lead the playoffs in opponent’s points per game, but they also lead the playoffs in defensive field goal percentage and defensive field goal 3-point percentage. Although the sample is only five games, the Celtics demonstrated their extraordinary defense in the regular season too.
Even though the Celtics have missed Gordon Hayward, they are still one of the deepest teams in the league, which is why I believe they will defeat the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA Finals. This will be a tough matchup for the Celtics. The last two times the teams faced off, the games both went to overtime. Despite this extremely competitive matchup, I think the Celtics can come out on top.