Best Moments From the 2019-20 NBA Season
Best Moments of the NBA Season
After a hectic off-season, the fans of the NBA finally got their first taste of a crazy 2019-2020 season. In the battle of Los Angeles, the two newly formed super teams squared off in a highly anticipated heavyweight bout. In the end, the Clippers led by their dynamic duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George won against the star duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James. However, one win did not mean that was a final outcome of who was going to be the better squad come season’s end.
Redemption of Melo and Howard
Before the season, things were looking bleak for Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard. However, the unexpected release of DeMarcus Cousins left a void at the center spot for the Lakers. Bringing back Howard to L.A. seemed like a recipe for disaster after his first tenure with the Lakers when his and Kobe Bryant’s relationship soured. However, this was a different Howard and he understood his new role at this point in his career. It would pay off as Howard is now a champion and certainly has a Hall of Fame resume after this season.
Carmelo Anthony has always been a polarizing figure in the NBA. After the Rockets ran him out of town, it looked like Melo may have worn out his welcome. Then, along came the Portland Trail Blazers. A team one season removed from the Western Conference Finals having a rough start to the beginning of the year. It made too much sense for both sides to agree to a deal. The result? Melo was able to show he still had something left in the tank and aided in Portland’s late-season efforts to get them the final postseason spot in the Western Conference.
The league decided to shake things up for the All-Star Game. A wise decision considering the game was starting to get criticized for the lack of effort being shown the past couple of years. This year, a target score was implemented in the final quarter which resulted in perhaps the most competitive All-Star Game we have ever seen. Team LeBron ended up prevailing when Anthony Davis hit the game-winning point at the free-throw line and Kawhi Leonard winning his first All-Star Game MVP, named the Kobe Bryant award this season in honor of the Lakers great who had passed away shortly before the break.
In the midst of the pandemic sweeping the world, commissioner Adam Silver hit it out of the park by implementing a bubble in Orlando, Florida in order to finish the 2019-20 NBA season. Of course, there were some people who doubted the effectiveness of the bubble at first. However, it ended up being a major success. The season ended successfully with little to no hitches and making the league looking the best of the major sports in terms of handling the pandemic.
During the bubble, there were many pleasant surprises. One of which was the Phoenix Suns. Led by their young duo in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, the Suns went undefeated to finish out their regular season. Many thought they deserved the final playoff spot, but sadly, they had just lost one too many games before the pandemic. However, the one consolation for Suns’ fans is there is hope for the future.
Speaking of the NBA Bubble, Damian Lillard willed the Trail Blazers to the eighth seed. The All-Star point guards averaged an insane 37.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 9.6 assists inside the bubble. During that time, Portland would go six and two which would be good enough to net Rip City a playoff spot. They would be bounced in the first round. However, Dame’s stretch of games in the 2019-20 NBA season was one for the history books.
Giannis Wins MVP
Giannis was the reigning MVP coming into the season. Winning the second one in the row was going to be a very difficult feat. Especially since the last back to back MVP was Stephen Curry in the 2014-15 and the 2015-16 seasons. In a race between the Greek Freak and King James, the Bucks’ star won with totals of 29.5 points, 5.6 assists, 13.6 rebounds per game, and a historical player efficiency rating of 31.9. He did this while leading the Bucks to the best record in the league. Certainly deserving of a second MVP.
Nuggets Overcome 3-1 Twice
Speaking of history being made, the Denver Nuggets pulled off the unthinkable in the postseason. They came back from a 3-1 deficit not once, but twice in the playoffs! The first time was against their arch-rivals, the Utah Jazz. A historical series where Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell traded blows of 50-point performances. The x-factor ended up being Gary Harris who poked the ball out from Mike Conley in the waning moments of game seven which resulted in one of the craziest sequences we have ever seen.
In the next series, almost no one thought the Nuggets had a chance. After all, the Los Angeles Clippers were heavy title favorites to start the year. What chance would a young mid-market team like the Nuggets have against them? In comes Denver’s best player, Nikola Jokic. The Clippers had no answer for the Joker and Denver capitalized off of this matchup all series. Mixed with Murray coming into his own and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George going cold in game seven, the Nuggets pulled off the unthinkable in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Miami Heat’s Underdog Story
The Miami Heat were the major Cinderella story of the season. They were as low as 70 to one odds to make the NBA Finals at one point. Yet, against all odds, the Heat led by Jimmy Butler pulled off upset after upset in the playoffs beating the likes of the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and then the Boston Celtics. Despite losing the championship, the Heat are here to stay with a legitimate star in Butler and budding young talent in the likes of Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson.
Lakers Win NBA Finals
To top off an unforgettable season, we have to go over the champions. The Los Angeles Lakers led by LeBron and AD were able to secure their 17th title in franchise history. This ties the Boston Celtics for most in NBA history. Another result was LeBron adding to his legacy with a fourth championship and Finals MVP. Not to mention, Davis was able to finally secure his first title and add to his already impressive NBA resume. It was a truly magical moment for Lakers fans and quite the moment to cap off an eventful 2019-20 NBA season.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images