The NBA finals are starting tonight, and even though most fans expected the Los Angeles Lakers to be one of the championship contenders, not many people expected the Miami Heat to make it this far. They are considered an underdog even though they've shown incredible dominance and perseverance so far in the playoffs. Many analysts even think their playing style is the best we've seen so far in the bubble, and former NBA player and six-time champion Scottie Pippen feels the same way about the Heat.
In an interview with Forbes, Pippen talked about his predictions on who will win the championship, and he believes the Heat has the edge over the Lakers. He admires everything the Lakers have done so far but thinks the Heat are definitely up for the challenge.
Pippen also brought up an interesting and somewhat unpopular opinion that LeBron James, who showcased he is still the best player on the planet, still needs to prove he is up for the challenge. According to Pippen, Anthony Davis has been the best offensive player for the Lakers and, in that aspect, brings more value to the team.
I think it's going to be a great series.To me, Miami has a little bit of the edge. I think people are overlooking how well they've played and their style of play. I give a lot of credit to the way the Lakers have played defensively, but I think Miami is ready for the challenge. They have players that are playing with a lot of confidence right now. I don't take nothing away from the Lakers and LeBron going to his 10th Finals. He still has to prove he can lead a team himself. I think Anthony Davis has shown he's more valuable to them on the offensive end, but I think Miami has more offensive weapons they'll be able to throw at LA.
Scottie Pippen, via Forbes
Pippen was always critical of LeBron, especially when it came to comparisons with Michael Jordan. It's even unjust to say LeBron has to prove himself as a leader because he's been doing that for quite some time now. Maybe you could argue that he wasn't the leader during his Miami Heat days, but on the Cavs and now on the Lakers, he's shown outstanding leadership on and off the court.
Whether the Heat will win the championship remains to be seen, but we can definitely expect a great series that might go to seven games. We'll see some exciting matchups and two great coaches trying to outsmart each other and make the right decisions for their team to win.