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Champions with an asterisk. Boston should be two trophies ahead of the Lakers, right?

Date: July 17, 2024 Time: 15:05:39

Champions with an asterisk. Boston should be two trophies ahead of the Lakers, right?

June 20, 2024, 07:45 Moscow time

Los Angeles’ victory in 2020 is still not highly appreciated.

After winning the trophy in the 2023/2024 season, Boston became the most decorated organization in NBA history. This championship was the 18th for the team in 78 years of existence. But before the Celtics beat Dallas in Game 5 of the Finals, they had been tied for four years as the winningest franchise with the Lakers, who have 17 titles remaining. They then managed to catch up with their Eastern Conference rivals following the results of the difficult 2019/2020 season. Unlike many other leagues, in the NBA it was officially over and Los Angeles was recognized as champion after playing the so-called “bubble” playoffs. Despite this, many to this day do not take that achievement seriously. But why?

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The first and most obvious reason is that the schedule was shortened that year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and instead of the usual 82 games, the Lakers played only 71. It is not the first time that the NBA world has tried to discredit the winners of the shortened tournament. This was once faced by the Spurs and the Heat, who became champions in the 1998/1999 and 2011/2012 lockout seasons, and even the Bucks, who won the cup in 2021. What’s more, in 2020 that was the case. same “bubble”. On the one hand, playing was more difficult than under normal conditions: constant controls, social distancing, inability to leave the team, see family, etc. On the other hand, the lack of travel, away games and spectators in the stands probably benefited the teams. But they also didn’t have home field advantage, so it’s really a two-fold situation.

Another important point is the pause of several months that was made before the actual resumption of the season. It would seem that this benefited all teams: the players had the necessary rest, the opportunity to recover from their injuries and adequately prepare for the end of the tournament. However, in the case of the Lakers, this fact is often used against them. They were the second oldest team in the league, with their leader, LeBron James, already 35 years old. He’s also taken quite a bit of damage since he moved to Los Angeles, not to mention Anthony Edwards’ reputation. Additionally, the team’s rotation included many other veterans with injury histories, such as Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and others. So even with the Lakers leading the West for months, the general consensus was that all those older, injury-prone players might not be strong enough for the playoffs. But since the first 60 games and the end of the season were more than three months apart, this problem was very conveniently eliminated.

Los Angeles Lakers – NBA Champion, 2019/2020 season

Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The rest of the complaints about that Lakers championship are as old as time. Their opponents in the first three rounds of the playoffs were not the most serious, and Miami, the fifth seed, against whom they had to play in the final, faced the decisive series far from the best conditions, having lost Goran Dragic and Bam. Adebayo. By and large, this is the same thing being said about Boston this year. But the point of the regular season is that the higher-ranked team ends up with easier opponents. Damage is also an integral part of the sport: it is purely a matter of luck (or bad luck for the losers).

When talking about the Celtics’ victory, it’s impossible to avoid mentioning that their opponents (the eighth, sixth, fifth and fourth teams) lost key players before or during the series. Additionally, there are a lot of questions about the entertainment and atmosphere around what is happening. But in a few years, this Boston trophy still won’t be as underrated as the Lakers’ 2020 championship. In any case, this will definitely not be a championship with an asterisk. Many fans will also continue to believe that by now the Celts should be two titles ahead of their bitter rivals instead of one: 18 to 16. How fair is that? The question is rhetorical. A trophy is a trophy. If he was included in the team’s rankings, he cannot be removed and history cannot be rewritten. And the fight between the Celtics and the Lakers will continue for many years; After all, between them they won only eight fewer trophies than all the other teams combined.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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