It’s looking less likely by the day that this NBA season will reach the conclusion it deserves. Many have called this the most competitive season in years after the Warriors dynasty finally toppled over and it’s disappointing that a new champion might not be crowned. Even still, it’s always nice to think about what could have been. Here are some of The Game Haus’ finest opinions on which team they think would have won it all this year.
Spencer Poole: Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been title favorites all season and rightly so. From the moment two of the five best players in the league in LeBron James and Anthony Davis paired together they instantly became a top tier contender. This season they did nothing but prove their mettle time and time again. They were on pace for 60 plus wins and just before the season was suspended soundly beat both the Clippers and the Bucks two of their main challengers.
LeBron was on a mission this season, you could see it in his corny Instagram hashtags, his constant workout videos, and most importantly his performance on the court. From what we saw of this season, I don’t think LeBron would have been denied his 4th NBA championship.
Final Prediction, Lakers over Bucks in 5
Adam Hushion: Los Angeles Lakers
Before the season was suspended, the Lakers were on pace to win 63 games and were the West’s #1 seed by a wide margin, boasting the 3rd rated defense to go along with the 4th rated offense in the NBA. In two of their last three games, the Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers, the teams that would likely be their biggest tests should they meet in a playoff series. In both games, the Lakers exposed chinks in each team’s armor and played exceptional defense on the opposing star players.
Conversely, the Lakers stars shined in their two biggest games of the season. LeBron James did what he has always done and gave us a glimpse of that next level that he can hit, and Anthony Davis was the force the Lakers need him to be on both ends and proved to be too much for either team. Combine that with a bought in cast of role players and the Los Angeles Lakers were on their way to being 2020 NBA Finals Champions.
Ben Hendricks: Milwaukee Bucks
One of the most difficult things about picking a winner without a playoff this year is attempting to suss out whether or not the Clippers’ “load management” strategy would have paid off. Last year, Kawhi Leonard’s commitment to rest resulted in a nearly flawless playoff run that helped the Raptors win their first-ever NBA Finals.
But that was a very different team with a very different coach. It just is not reasonable to think the Clips would have blown through the competition just because they were rested. So, with that in mind, my picks are the teams who played hard and played together all year.
The Milwaukee Bucks likely would have come out of the East after a hard-fought Eastern Conference Finals with the Raptors. Giannis would eventually have given the edge to Milwaukee, due to Toronto not having a lynchpin superstar.
If the seeding worked out, my picks for the last two teams standing in the West come down to the Lakers and the Nuggets. However, the Nuggets are still in a gestation period, despite good shooting and great defense. The Lakers are built to win right now, and the team would gain steam with every round.
Between the Bucks and the Lakers, in a seven-game series, I’ll take Milwaukee. Giannis is a new NBA powerhouse, but he still needs the ring to prove it. Shooters like Middleton could take over the game if LeBron kept up with the Greek Freak, and their defense is situational enough to stall hero-play from any Laker.
Winner: Milwaukee in 6
Finals MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Zach Russell: Los Angeles Lakers
If the season had continued, the Lakers would be coming out of the Western Conference, and end up hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. Even at 35, LeBron James was playing the best basketball of his career, and the team around him made for one of the best in the league on both offense and defense.
While the Clippers were their biggest challenge in the West, the Lakers have chemistry to their advantage, as the Clippers haven’t been at full strength most of the year. Other great teams out West like Houston and Denver would have little answer for LeBron and A.D. on defense.
It would have been a hard-fought Finals between the Bucks and Lakers, but this year LeBron’s greatness would have been too much to overcome.
‘From our Haus to yours’